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Tebow had chance to change positions, instead he changed sports

Tebow Getty Images

Tim Tebow is trying out in front of baseball scouts today, in the first step toward getting himself back in professional sports after he realized that he has no future as an NFL quarterback.

But one of the odd things about Tebow’s decision to give baseball a shot is that he gave up on football before exploring every avenue available to him. According to former Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik, Tebow was afforded the opportunity to play H-back in Tampa Bay but said he was only interested in playing quarterback.

“I called & called agent Jimmy Sexton, begged him & Tim Tebow to come play H-Back for the Bucs but it was always nope, only QB,” Dominik wrote on Twitter today.

Dominik didn’t say when that happened, but presumably it was in 2013, Dominik’s last year as the Bucs’ G.M., when Tebow was cut twice, first by the Jets at the start of the offseason and then by the Patriots at the end of the preseason.

Tebow always struggled as a passer but had the athletic profile of a football player. He probably could have played H-back, fullback, tight end or maybe even linebacker in the NFL if he had wanted to. But he didn’t want to.

Now he wants to play baseball. He’s an extreme long shot to make it to the majors, which underscores how odd it is that he turned down an opportunity to keep playing in the big leagues of the NFL, albeit at another position.

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Chiefs put Justin Houston on PUP, Josh Mauga on IR, OMG

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 09:  Justin Houston #50 of the Kansas City Chiefs  celebrates their 30-0 win over the Houston Texans during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at NRG Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Chiefs knew earlier this offseason that outside linebacker Justin Houston was unlikely to be ready for the regular season.

Today was just the filing of the paperwork.

Via Field Yates of ESPN, the Chiefs are putting Houston on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. That will keep him off the field at least the first six weeks of the season.

Houston needed surgery in February to repair his ACL, and the timetable was placed at six to 12 months. Only the most optimistic recovery would have had him ready by now.

The Chiefs will also be without linebacker Josh Mauga, who will be placed on injured reserve with a labral tear in his hip, per Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star.

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Report: Giants bringing back Will Beatty

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 10:   Will Beatty #65 of the New York Giants in action against the Oakland Raiders during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 10, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

It took a while for tackle Will Beatty to generate interest on the free agent market after he missed the 2015 season with a torn pectoral and rotator cuff, but August saw him making the workout rounds with the Jaguars and Panthers.

Beatty looked around, but he’s reportedly heading back to the only team that he’s played for in the NFL. According to multiple reports, the Giants are re-signing Beatty after releasing him in February.

Beatty’s return comes after the Giants offense struggled in their preseason outings. The starters didn’t score any points against either the Bills or the Jets in the last two weeks, something that represents an unwelcome change for a team that came out of last season secure in their offensive prowess while trying to shore up their defense.

The Giants currently have 2015 first-round pick Ereck Flowers at Beatty’s old left tackle spot and Marshall Newhouse on the right side of the offensive line. Beatty will likely start out backing them up, but a return to the starting lineup could be in his future if he remains healthy and gets back up to speed quickly.

Beatty’s arrival will force the Giants to make another cut to meet the 75-man limit. They got the ball rolling on Monday by cutting tight end Matt LaCosse, fullback Nikita Whitlock, wide receiver Myles White and long snapper Tyler Ott.

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Breshad Perriman set for preseason debut as Ravens drop to 75 players

Breshad Perriman AP

The Ravens have waited a long time to see wide receiver Breshad Perriman in a game and that wait is set to end on Thursday.

Perriman has been practicing with the team for a week since coming off the physically unable to perform list and said Tuesday that he is looking forward to taking the field with the team on gameday for the first time.

“It’s very exciting,” Perriman said, via the Baltimore Sun. “I’ve been waiting for a long time and it’s finally coming. We’ve got a preseason game Thursday and then we have the Buffalo Bills after that. I can’t be more excited. I haven’t suited up for any games since college. It’s been a real long time. Just to think about it, I’ll be able to go out there with my teammates and my friends, it’s just crazy.”

Tuesday’s cut to 75 players means that some other players from Ravens camp won’t be around to join Perriman on the field. The Ravens announced that they have cut kicker Will Lutz while running back Lorenzo Taliaferro is on the reserve PUP list and linebacker Bronson Kaufusi and tackle Stephane Nembot have been placed on injured reserve.

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Chargers get roster exemption for Joey Bosa, cut to 76 players complete

FILE - This is a May 21, 2016, file photo showing Joey Bosa. The San Diego Chargers say they've signed rookie defensive end Joey Bosa to a four-year contract.
The announcement Monday, Aug. 29, 2016, came five days after the two sides went public in their nasty spat over payment of Bosa's $17 million signing bonus and whether the contract would have offset language. (Dominic DiSaia/File) AP

All but one of the teams in the NFL have to get down to 75 players by Tuesday afternoon, but the Chargers will be able to end the day with 76 men on their roster.

That’s because the league has granted them a roster exemption for defensive end Joey Bosa after the first-round pick finally signed his rookie deal with the team on Monday. With the cut to 53 players coming on Saturday, it likely represents a short stay for a player who would have been on his way out on Tuesday but one never knows how things can change between now and then.

The Chargers confirmed the reported release of quarterback Zach Mettenberger and placed placed guard Donavon Clark and running back Branden Oliver on injured reserve. Clark has a knee injury and Oliver injured his Achilles in last Sunday’s game against the Vikings.

Wide receiver Javontee Herndon, defensive tackle Zamir Carlis, tackle Tyler Johnstone and running back Dreamius Smith were waived/injured to complete the team’s roster moves.

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Vikings cut nine, including 2015 seventh-round pick Austin Shepherd

Minnesota Vikings v Dallas Cowboys Getty Images

The Vikings announced nine cuts from their roster, dropping them to 80 players with a couple of hours to go before the deadline to reach 75 players.

There weren’t any big surprises on the list. The team did move on from offensive lineman Austin Shepherd, who saw action in 14 games with the team after being drafted in the seventh round last year.

The Vikings also released quarterback Brad Sorensen, who was signed earlier this month while Teddy Bridgewater and Shaun Hill were out of practice for a couple of days, and tight end Brian Leonhardt, who played 16 games with the 49ers and Raiders over the last two seasons.

Defensive end Theiren Cockran, guard Sean Hickey, defensive end Claudell Louis, wide receiver Marken Michel, linebacker Terrance Plummer and wide receiver Terrell Sinkfield were also dropped from the roster.

 

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Panthers, running out of safeties, bring in Major Wright

Miami Dolpins v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Getty Images

When the Panthers made a handful of moves earlier this afternoon, they reduced the roster to 74, or one under today’s limit.

They are apparently ready to fill that spot, because they were running out of bodies.

According to Bill Voth of  Black and Blue Review, the Panthers have brought in veteran safety Major Wright for a workout and have discussed contract terms.

The former Bears safety was just cut by the Buccaneers earlier in the week, and the Panthers had an immediate need. Four of the seven safeties on their roster have some degree of injuries, and somebody has to play Thursday night.

The Panthers worked out veterans Donte Whitner and Stevie Brown last week, but they left without contracts which means either they weren’t impressed or weren’t inclined to pay much more than the minimum to bring a guy in.

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Jay Gruden confirms releases of Perry Riley, Stephen Paea

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 2:  Rhett Ellison #85 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball while being tackled by Perry Riley #56 of the Washington Redskins during the third quarter on November 2, 2014 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Getty Images

Reports surfaced Tuesday that the Redskins would be parting ways with linebacker Perry Riley and defensive lineman Stephen Paea as the team moved to 75 players and Riley tweeted a farewell to fans that seemed to confirm the news.

Coach Jay Gruden offered a more official confirmation when he met with reporters after the team’s practice. Gruden said that he thought highly of both players, but that the team liked others at the positions more when it came time to set the roster.

Riley has spent his entire career with the team and was a starter throughout most of the last five seasons, but Mason Foster took over at the top of the depth chart this summer. Riley was set to make $4 million in base salary this year and the team will take on just over $1 million in dead money by releasing him.

Paea signed a four-year deal with the Redskins before last season, but wound up in a backup role before ending the year on injured reserve. He was set to make $3.3 million this season, which was likely more than the team wanted to pay a player who had fallen down the depth chart.

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Chip Kelly declares Colin Kaepernick one of his two best quarterbacks

San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick, left, and Blaine Gabbert stand on the sideline during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Green Bay Packers on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. Green Bay won 21-10. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar) AP

Colin Kaepernick occasionally does things other than not stand for the National Anthem.

And he’s going to do that other thing Thursday night.

According to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, 49ers coach Chip Kelly said that Kaepernick was going to play in Thursday’s preseason finale, and that he’s one of the two best quarterbacks on the roster.

Of course, the other one is ostensibly Blaine Gabbert, and he’s not playing Thursday night, which ought to be the clearest indication yet he’s the starter for the regular season. But Kelly said that Kaepernick’s lack of snaps made that an inaccurate conclusion to draw, since Gabbert has gotten more work than Kaepernick throughout the offseason because of Kaepernick’s surgeries.

Of course, being one of the top two quarterbacks on the 49ers is kind of like being one of the best dunkers in the annual PFT pickup basketball game, because the other two are Jeff Driskel and Christian Ponder. Given previous reports that the 49ers thought Kaepernick’s play on the field was “regressing,” there are plenty of people unsure about his roster status come this time next week.

And while Kaepernick’s political statement has been the focus of the last several days, Kelly said he doesn’t see it taking away from his preparation.

“When he’s here, he’s all about ball,” Kelly said.

How long that remains the case after Thursday’s game remains to be seen.

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Packers trade Lerentee McCray to Bills on way to 75 players

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07:  Jordan Norwood #11 of the Denver Broncos carries the ball against Ed Dickson #84 of the Carolina Panthers during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Packers announced a series of roster moves on Tuesday that leaves them with 76 players on the roster.

It appears the final move to get to the 75-man limit has come via a trade. The Bills announced that they have acquired linebacker Lerentee McCray from Green Bay for an undisclosed 2018 draft pick.

McCray signed with the Packers in April after playing 24 games with the Broncos over the last two seasons. The Bills have lost linebackers Reggie Ragland and IK Enemkpali for the season and first-round pick Shaq Lawson is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury.

There’s been no word from the Packers about the trade at this point. The Packers did announce that they released wide receiver Harvey Binford and placed tight end Kennard Backman, running back John Crockett, center Jacob Flores, tight end Mitchell Henry and guard Josh Walker on injured reserve.

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Dave Gettleman: Andy Lee trade something “we needed to do”

This  Jan. 3, 2016 photo shows Cleveland Browns punter Andy Lee (8) kicking against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half of an NFL football game in Cleveland. The Cleveland Browns have traded Lee to Carolina for punter Kasey Redfern and a 2018 fourth-round pick. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane) AP

The Panthers traded for veteran punter Andy Lee on Monday, which made one of the team’s cuts on Tuesday an easy decision.

Veteran punter Mike Scifres has been released after getting hurt last week and setting the wheels in motion for the Lee trade. General Manager Dave Gettleman said Tuesday that the team felt they couldn’t go into the season with rookie Kasey Redfern as their punter and that led him to deal Redfern and a 2018 fourth-round pick for Lee.

“To have a team like this and to go into a season with a rookie punter is really rolling the bones,” Gettleman said. “Through conversations in the office, we decided to take a shot. Andy Lee is a Pro Bowl punter. People talking about checking boxes? Well, that’s a huge box to check. He’s an outstanding holder as well as a great punter, and it was just something we felt we needed to do.”

The Panthers also released defensive end Rakim Cox, safety Trenton Robinson and wide receiver LaRon Byrd on Tuesday and placed cornerback Leonard Johnson on the reserve/non-football injury list. That leaves them with 74 players, which either gives them a roster spot to fill or a head start on the cut to 53 players this weekend.

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Hroniss Grasu, Connor Shaw to IR as Bears go to 75 players

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 13: Hroniss Grasu #55 of the Chicago Bears moves to block against the Miami Dolphins during a preseason game at Soldier Field on August 13, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Dolphins 27-10.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Bears have made the final roster moves needed to get the team to the 75-man limit on Tuesday and they are headlined by a pair of expected trips to injured reserve.

The team placed center Hroniss Grasu and quarterback Connor Shaw on I.R. due to injuries they suffered this summer. Grasu tore his ACL early in August, forcing the Bears to turn elsewhere for a starter in the middle of the offensive line after he held down the job down the stretch last season.

Shaw broke his leg against the Chiefs last week on a hit that he called “cheap BS” after the game. Coach John Fox said after the injury that he thinks Shaw has a bright future with the club and he’ll try to fulfill that expectation next year.

The Bears also waived linebacker Jarrett Grace, waived/injured linebacker Lamin Barrow and placed linebacker Roy Robertson-Harris on the reserve/non-football injury list.

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Dion Jordan opening season on non-football injury list

Minnesota Vikings v Miami Dolphins Getty Images

Defensive end Dion Jordan has been cleared to make his return to the practice field by the NFL, but his knee hasn’t allowed that to happen this summer and we’ll be well into the regular season before it can happen.

Jordan has been placed reserve non-football injury list by the Dolphins, which means he won’t be allowed to practice or play for the team for at least the first six weeks of the season. Jordan had knee surgery before being conditionally reinstated from his suspension by the league.

He’ll be joined on that list by linebacker Zach Vigil, who was placed on the NFI list on July 29 because of a back injury. Vigil played in all 16 games last season and had 18 tackles and a blocked punt to show for his efforts.

The two moves leave the Dolphins with 75 players on their active roster ahead of Tuesday’s deadline to get to that number.

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ESPN won’t show national anthem before 49ers game

Colin Kaepernick AP

One of the most-discussed moments of Week One of the NFL season will be the national anthem before the Monday night 49ers-Rams game, when Colin Kaepernick is expected to continue his protest and remain seated while other players are standing. But that moment won’t be televised.

ESPN told Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated that it normally does not show the national anthem for the late game of the Week One Monday Night Football doubleheader and won’t show it this year either.

That decision is a mistake. Just because the national anthem isn’t ordinarily shown doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be shown when there are extenuating circumstances, and in this case there are certainly extenuating circumstances. Telling the story of that game will include showing Kaepernick, showing the other players, and covering any reaction Kaepernick gets from the fans, positive or negative.

Kaepernick’s stance has thrust the national anthem into the national news. ESPN should allow viewers to see that news being made.

UPDATE 1:58 p.m. ET: Monday Night Football producer Jay Rothman said the following on an ESPN media call: “The timing is such that, first of all, Kaepernick has to make the 53-man team, and that’s two weeks away, so we don’t know that yet. But the timing is such that because it’s a doubleheader game, we do not cover the Anthem. We will not cover the Anthem live in the second game regardless. However, that doesn’t mean we couldn’t record it and report it. And I think our job, especially with the whole Kaepernick deal, it’s our job to document and report the game. And those who are working on the game, if Kaepernick is on the team and chooses to sit again, I’m sure they’ll get perspective from Kaepernick, they’ll get perspective from Chip Kelly, they’ll get perspective from others and report. So that’s how we’ll handle that in San Francisco.”

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Chargers waiving quarterback Zach Mettenberger

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 28: Zach Mettenberger #4 of the San Diego Chargers warms up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings on August 28, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Getty Images

When the Titans released quarterback Zach Mettenberger this offseason, there were teams other than the Chargers who wanted him.

Today, the Chargers decided they no longer did.

According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chargers have waived Mettenberger as part of their first cuts to 75.

Mettenberger played for Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt in Tennessee, but not particularly well. He was 0-10 as a starter there, though that had as much to do with the Titans as Mettenberger.

The Bengals and Giants each put in waiver claims on Mettenberger in May, and it will be interesting to see if anyone has any interest in him this time around.

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