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This offseason seems to be giving the Broncos the finger

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 24:   Brandon Marshall #54 of the Denver Broncos rushes in the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) Getty Images

Now that they’ve gotten the rings, the Broncos are suddenly getting the finger.

According to Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall was limited this week in OTAs because of offseason finger surgery, the third player on the team to need a digital fix this offseason.

Marshall’s work was on his right index finger, and he’s going to be re-examined next week by Dr. Randy Viola (who also operated on quarterback Mark Sanchez’s left thumb).

“Right now I’m just rehabbing and focusing on getting my range of motion and my strength back,” Marshall said. “So they’re just holding me out so I don’t do any more damage — because I don’t want to get another procedure on it.”

Marshall was bothered by a 2014 Lisfranc injury throughout last season, and one of the screws inserted into his foot to stabilize the injury snapped. He injured his right index finger in Week Two of the regular season, but started all 16 games.

Tight end Virgil Green also had finger surgery and will miss part of OTAs.

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Warren Sapp not thrilled Timmy Jernigan wearing No. 99 as a tribute to him

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 11:  NFL television commentator Warren Sapp is on the sidelines before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play  against the Miami Dolphins November 11, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) Getty Images

Ravens defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan wore No. 97 during his first two years in the NFL, but is sporting No. 99 this season after it became free following Chris Canty’s departure from the team.

Jernigan explained that he made the switch because he admired Hall of Famer Warren Sapp when he was growing up and “definitely wanted to model my game after him.”

“Nasty, ferocious, he came every play,” Jernigan said, via ESPN.com. “You definitely knew he was there and when he made a play. Another thing, he played down in Florida, too, so he was definitely one of the greats from our state.”

If you thought Sapp would appreciate a young player offering a reminder of how good Sapp was on the field rather than the less impressive headlines Sapp has made away from the field, it appears you would be wrong.

Sapp didn’t elaborate as to why he’s bothered by Jernigan’s gesture. Jernigan went to Florida State and Sapp went to Miami, so that could have something to do with a less than gracious response to Jernigan’s nod in his direction.

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Steelers players think Antonio Brown can top 2,000 receiving yards

CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 09:  Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs with the ball in the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Getty Images

Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown finished the 2015 season with 1,834 receiving yards, which was good for second in the league behind Julio Jones and the fourth-best total in the history of the NFL.

Brown put up those numbers despite playing in an offense that was missing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for four full games and parts of others, leaving many with the opinion that he would have become the first player with 2,000 receiving yards in a season if Roethlisberger had been healthy. It’s also left some of his teammates feeling like Brown could hit that milestone this season.

Backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski called it “realistic” and guard Roman Foster said he’s “going to bet on” Brown if the wideout makes a push for the magic number.

“I think it is possible,” wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Just think: Calvin Johnson had [1,964 yards in 2012], so you know you can get close to it. Everybody knows what he is capable of. I don’t want to put that pressure on him, but it is definitely possible.”

Brown wouldn’t make any predictions, saying that it “is a lot of yards” and noting that it remains to be seen how teams will defend the Steelers with Martavis Bryant out of the picture. His chances are also going to be tied closely to Roethlisberger’s health, but Brown’s track record makes his chances as good or better than anyone’s to set a new single-season record for receiving yards.

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NFL communications executive will rent his mansion to Obama

WASHINGTON - JULY 17:  Former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart arrives for the funeral for former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow at the Basillica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception July 17, 2008 in Washington, DC. U.S. President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush attended the funeral for Snow, who died Saturday after a long battle with colon cancer.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Getty Images

The NFL hired Joe Lockhart as its new V.P. of communications because he’s well-connected with power in Washington. Here’s an illustration of just how well-connected Lockhart is: When the Obama family moves out of the White House in January, they’re going to move into a house owned by Lockhart.

The New York Times reports that President Obama and his wife and daughters will move into an 8,200-square-foot home in Washington, D.C., which Lockhart owns.

There’s no word on how much rent Obama will pay Lockhart, but estimates are that the house is worth $6 million and the going rate on a place like that is $22,000 a month.

Lockhart was previously the press secretary and senior adviser to Bill Clinton, and the managing director of communications for the Glover Park Group. And now, as the NFL dispatches Lockhart to speak to the wealthy and powerful in Washington, he has another title: President Obama’s landlord.

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Former Duke QB still hospitalized after car wreck with Panthers linebacker

DURHAM, NC - NOVEMBER 20:  Anthony Boone #7 of the Duke Blue Devils during their game at Wallace Wade Stadium on November 20, 2014 in Durham, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Getty Images

Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson was back on the practice field for OTAs this week, running around with his teammates and hanging out at a charity golf tournament.

The guy he hit in a head-on collision last weekend, however, is still in the hospital recovering from multiple surgeries.

According to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, former Duke quarterback Anthony Boone remains at Carolinas Medical Center after procedures to repair hip and hand injuries, following the Sunday morning head-on collision with Thompson’s car.

Thompson was cited for driving left of center, and while alcohol was detected, he was under North Carolina’s legal limit according to police. Thompson said his cell phone fell under his feet, causing him to swerve into Boone’s lane, triggering the crash.

Boone, who was in camp with the Lions last summer, had just gone through a workout for a CFL team. But any thoughts of football are on hold while he recovers. His mother said he still hasn’t heard from Thompson or the Panthers (probably because they’re anticipating a lawsuit).

“He’s doing good. He’s got a long road back, but he’s getting better,” Jenice Boone said. “Praying every day, praying for strength.”

Boone left Duke as the winningest quarterback in school history (19, hey, it’s Duke), and threw for 5,789 yards and 38 touchdowns. He appeared in nine games with the Montreal Alouettes last year. But with a broken hip and ligament and tendon damage to his hand, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be playing anywhere soon.

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Ryan brothers say working together has caused both to gain weight

Rob Ryan, Rex Ryan AP

Bills head coach Rex Ryan and his twin brother Rob have long talked openly about their weight struggles. When Rex hired Rob this year, working together did not help them take the pounds off.

Rex told Jenny Vrentas of TheMMQB.com that he’s gained 30 pounds since hiring Rob, and Rob added that he had his lap band surgically removed and has gained 24 pounds. Rex said he hoped the two of them could work together on losing weight, but it didn’t work out that way.

“I was going to get his weight down to mine. No, no, my weight started going up to his. So that’s really what happened there,” Rex said.

Rob said that he started to get his weight under control while working from the Cowboys, going from 320 pounds to 260. But he gained 30 pounds in a month after he was fired by the Cowboys and hired by the Saints, and his weight has been a struggle since.

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Cowboys won’t just give Ronald Leary away

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 23:   Ronald Leary #65 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts in the second quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 23, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Cowboys are happy to explore the possibility of trading guard Ronald Leary, but they’re not going to just give him away.

The former starting guard, whose place was taken by La’El Collins last year, has been staying away from OTAs in hopes of finding someone who wants him to start.

“We told Ron that he could certainly look around, but we’re not in the business of letting go of good football players for little or nothing,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said, via Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News. “We got calls during the draft asking to trade for some of our running backs. We just don’t have that interest. Ron’s a big part of this football team.

“We know it’s disappointing when you’ve been starting and you’re not. We’d hoped that he would look at it as ‘let’s come in here and compete.’ . . . We expect him to come in here at some point. And we want to welcome him with open arms, and hopefully he’s getting in shape wherever he is right now.”

Leary proved to be a perfectly capable starter on good lines in 2013 and 2014, before Collins fell into their laps. There are plenty of places he could probably be starting, but the Cowboys know that too, and have no reason to make a hasty decision.

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Marcus Smith thinks things are different for him under Jim Schwartz

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 21: Pierre Garcon #88 of the Washington Redskins scores a touchdown against  Marcus Smith #90 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the first quarter of the game at Lincoln Financial Field on September 21, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Getty Images

In the two year since he became an Eagles first-round pick, Marcus Smith hasn’t done much to make people feel the team made the right choice in 2014.

Smith played sparingly at linebacker under former defensive coordinator Bill Davis and the bust word has been thrown around quite a bit. Smith’s chance to erase that label will come as a defensive end in Jim Schwartz’s defense and he believes that it will be a departure from his first two seasons.

“I understand it,” Smith said, via Philly.com. “I wanted to be on the field, but I wasn’t. I learned a lot of things from my first to second year. I think I’ve grown and matured a lot that this third year. You’ll see a different Marcus.”

Smith said he and Schwartz have talked about Jerry Hughes, who went from a disappointing linebacker with the Colts to 10 sacks off the edge as a defensive end under Schwartz in Buffalo. That led to a five-year, $45 million deal for Hughes and the loss of any bust tag that might have been placed on him when he was with the Colts.

Can lightning strike twice? Smith and the Eagles certainly hope so.

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Friday morning one-liners

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 16:  Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals talks with teammate A.J. Green #18 prior to the start of the game against the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 16, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Getty Images

A look at how the Bills’ receivers are faring in OTAs without Sammy Watkins.

The Dolphins expect WR DeVante Parker to create fear in opposing defenses.

DE Chris Long is learning from Rob Ninkovich in his first year with the Patriots.

By staying away from OTAs, Jets WR Eric Decker is showing uncommon loyalty to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Lardarius Webb is adjusting to life as a safety with the Ravens.

QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green remain in place while the Bengals offense changes around them.

Hopes for Browns RB Duke Johnson are high this season.

Steelers quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones welcomed children to their families this week.

The Texans defense is shooting for a faster start this season.

Colts LB D’Qwell Jackson still enjoys playing the “chess game” with opposing offenses.

DT Malik Jackson is growing comfortable in his role on the Jaguars defense.

Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is the only hand guiding the Titans defense in 2016.

How can the Broncos defense be better this year?

Chiefs WR Jeremy Maclin left Thursday’s practice early with what the team calls a minor ankle injury.

Sean Smith thinks fellow Raiders CB D.J. Hayden can still realize his potential.

A case for the Chargers using DE Joey Bosa in a variety of ways.

The Cowboys won’t be giving G Ronald Leary away.

Delving into concerns about the Giants offensive line.

Tracing the roots of Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s scheme.

Redskins WR Rashad Ross‘ cousin is trying to land a spot on an NFL roster.

The Bears hope a bigger C Hroniss Grasu is a better one.

Lions LB DeAndre Levy is excited about a “fresh start” after missing last year with a hip injury.

Packers WR Ty Montgomery shrugged off concerns about his ankle.

S Michael Griffin has enjoyed his first weeks as a member of the Vikings.

The Falcons are trying several things to jolt their pass rush.

Where does Panthers coach Ron Rivera rank in relation to his peers?

The Saints have moved Kaleb Eulls to the offensive line.

The Buccaneers took their rookies golfing.

Cardinals RB Chris Johnson shares the stories behind some of his tweets.

The Rams will be looking for some new leaders after this offseason’s roster moves.

Ray-Ray Armstrong is competing for a starting linebacker job with the 49ers.

Brandon Browner likes being back with the Seahawks.

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Koa Misi detained but not arrested after punching man in bar fight

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills Getty Images

Dolphins linebacker Koa Misi was handcuffed and detained by Fort Lauderdale police, but not arrested, after punching a man in the head in a bar fight last weekend.

While that technically doesn’t reset our days without arrest meter, it’s another incident for a player with a bit of a past.

Via to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, this incident never led to an arrest because the other party didn’t want to press charges.

According to the police report, Misi and a group of friends going into an argument with a man named Scott Cabrera outside the Cyn Nightclub. They separated briefly, but according to the report: “Seconds later, Misi and other members of his group charged toward the nightclub entrance where Cabrera was standing in line. I was unable to stop all of them from charging and ran back toward the entrance, to where I witnessed Misi strike Cabrera in the head, causing him to fall to the ground.”

Misi was ordered to get down, but he tried to run and the cop “executed a leg sweep to bring him to the ground.”

(We knew things might be getting slow for Johnny Lawrence, but had no idea he was working as a Florida cop).

Misi was eventually cuffed and put in the back of a patrol car, but when Cabrera wouldn’t provide a statement or wish to press charges, Misi was released.

The Dolphins issued the traditional “aware/gather information” statement, but reports of the incident came after their post-OTA media availability.

In 2012, Misi pleaded no contest to felony battery with serious bodily injury, after breaking down a man’s door and giving him a beating which resulted in a broken eye socket.

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Most NFL teams play near a casino

ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY - MARCH 30:  A patron plays the slots at the Trump Taj Mahal casino hotel on March 30, 2016 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The Atlantic City municipality is due to run out of funds on April 8 and is facing insolvency and the possibility of bankruptcy. Many city workers, including members of the fire and police departments, have vowed to continue working without pay until funds are restored. The Jersey Shore gambling resort town has seen four casinos close in recent years, cutting its casino tax revenue in half. The financial crisis has pitted Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian against New Jersery Governor Chris Christie, who has refused to bail out Atlantic City with state funds.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) Getty Images

Amid talk that the Raiders could move to Las Vegas, some around the NFL are concerned about playing in America’s gambling capital. But gambling is so pervasive around America today that most NFL teams play near a casino.

That’s the word from the American Gaming Association, which points out that 80 percent of NFL teams play within a one-hour drive of a casino.

The Rams’ new stadium in Los Angeles is being built right next door to the Hollywood Park Casino, which will make the Rams one of six teams (along with the Steelers, Ravens, Lions, Browns and Saints) that play less than a mile from a casino. Another 13 stadiums are between one and 20 miles from a casino, and seven stadiums are 20 to 40 miles from a casino.

Only six teams — the Cowboys, Texans, Falcons, Panthers, Jaguars and Titans — play more than 40 miles from a casino.

The reality is that if playing near a casino is a problem for the NFL, then the NFL already has a problem. Moving one team to Las Vegas won’t change that.

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Jimmy Graham jogging, catching passes at Seahawks OTAs

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 05:  Jimmy Graham #88 of the Seattle Seahawks warms up prior to the game against the Detroit Lions at CenturyLink Field on October 5, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham saw his 2015 season come to an abrupt end when he suffered a torn patellar tendon in a game last November against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

While general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll have been fairly optimistic that Graham would be ready in time for the start of the regular season, they were able to see another encouraging sign for themselves on Thursday. Graham was on the practice fields during OTAs on Thursday and managed to catch some passes from quarterbacks Russell Wilson, Trevone Boykin and Jake Heaps while jogging around during early workouts.

While it’s far from being ready from the rigors of the football season, it’s a good sign that Graham will be ready before games start in September.

“We’re thinking that that’s real possibility, yeah,” Carroll said. “That’s kind of what we are thinking. We have to avoid setbacks, obviously. But we are kind of counting on it.”

Carroll said that running back Thomas Rawls is farther along in the recovery process than Graham is at this point, but both players are progressing well from their surgeries late last season. Rawls suffered a broken ankle last December against the Baltimore Ravens.

“Those guys are both making really good progress.” Carroll said. “Thomas is running and Jimmy is back to running on the field the last couple of days, which is great. He’s made terrific progress. Both of their attitudes are really good. They are really positive about making it.”

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Jets considered Holmgren as coach before hiring Bowles

Mike Holmgren AP

Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Holmgren was under consideration for the Jets’ head coaching job during the team’s search 16 months ago, Bob Glauber of Newsday in New York reported.

Jets Owner Woody Johnson told Glauber he was “delighted” the search ended up the way it did, with the hiring of Todd Bowles as head coach. But Johnson admitted that he had reached out to Holmgren during the process.

Holmgren was last seen taking a lot of money from former Browns owner Randy Lerner and delivering very little in the way of results in a front-office role from 2010-12. His time with the Browns ended when Jimmy Haslam bought the team.

But Holmgren was a successful coach who got to three Super Bowls and won one, with the Packers. He has a 174-122 career record as a coach with the Packers and Seahawks and has 13 playoff wins.

“This was for coaching, just coaching,” Johnson said of his discussions regarding Holmgren. “It wasn’t for general manager or anything else. That setup doesn’t work normally. You get too many jobs for one person. But I was flattered he took the call. It’s Mike Holmgren we’re talking about. He’s a legendary figure, a great coach. I enjoyed talking to him.”

Holmgren declined to comment to Newsday. He’s a native of the Bay Area and had been linked, at least by the rumor mill, to the 49ers’ coaching openings in the last two offseasons.

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Packers swap out reserve quarterbacks

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 29: Marquise Williams #12 of the North Carolina Tar Heels sets to throw during the first half of the Russell Athletic Bowl game against the Baylor Bears at Orlando Citrus Bowl on December 29, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Packers have a great starting quarterback. At the bottom of the depth chart, they have made an adjustment.

Gone is Ryan Williams. Taking his place is former North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams.

Undrafted in May, Marquise Williams set more than 20 records at Chapel Hill, including career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (35), career rushing yards by a quarterback (2,458), and career total offense (10,423 yards).

Ryan Williams, undrafted out of Miami (Fla.) in 2015, signed with the Packers in January. The other quarterbacks on the roster are Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hundley, and Joe Callahan.

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Browns sign second-rounder Ogbah

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 30:  Emmanuel Ogbah #38 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys reacts after sacking Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles in the first half of the Advocare Cowboys Classic at AT&T Stadium on August 30, 2014 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Browns on Thursday announced the signing of their second-round pick, outside linebacker Emmanuel Ogbah.

Ogbah had 28 sacks over three seasons at Oklahoma State and will try to transition to a 3-4 outside linebacker with the Browns. The Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year last fall, Ogbah was twice his team’s defensive MVP in college and twice an All-Big 12 pick. He’s listed at 6-foot-4, 275.

Paul Kruger and second-year player Nate Orchard figure as the Browns starting outside linebackers, at least for now. The team declined to pick up the fifth-year option on 2013 first-round pick Barkevious Mingo, who hasn’t produced much over the last two seasons, and Ogbah should have opportunities to prove himself and earn early playing time.

The Browns have now signed seven of the record 14 players they drafted last month.

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