Report: Former NFL player Therrian Fontenot was driving DeSean Jackson’s car

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Former NFL player Therrian Fontenot allegedly was driving DeSean Jackson‘s pickup when it wrecked on Christmas Eve, according to a police report obtained by Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.

The Chevy Silverado, which hit a tree, had 6.3 grams of marijuana inside it, an amount that would be a misdemeanor offense in Florida. Police also found two .38 caliber hollow-point bullets, which are legal in Florida.

With no witnesses or video evidence, Tampa police have stopped investigating the case.

The Bucs receiver told police a friend used his truck without his permission. Jackson and Fontenot played together in Philadelphia in 2007-08.

Jackson declined comment to the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday.

The police report states Fontenot had an outstanding warrant related to traffic offenses.

In 2015, Fontenot spent six months in jail for burglarizing the home of another NFL receiver, Bernard Berrian.

Report: Dolphins will cut Julius Thomas, Lawrence Timmons

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Last year, former Broncos tight end Julius Thomas reunited with former Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase in Miami. After only one season, they’ll be going their separate ways, again.

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that the Dolphins will cut Thomas, clearing up $6.6 million in cap space. Thomas (pictured) arrived via trade last year with the Jaguars. In his only season in Miami, Thomas caught 41 passes for 388 yards and three touchdowns.

Also due to be cut is linebacker Lawrence Timmons. That move will create another $5.4 million in cap space. Timmons signed as a free agent in 2017, after 10 years with the Steelers. He created a stir by temporarily going AWOL early in the season.

Salguero points out that the Dolphins also could choose to terminate the fifth-year option on tackle Ja'Wuan James, creating $9.34 million in cap space. It would be part of an effort to reduce the team’s cap burden. Currently, the Dolphins have $185 million or so in cap commitments for 2018; the cap is expected to be in the vicinity of $180 million.

As Salguero also notes, trading franchise-tagged receiver Jarvis Landry (or rescinding the tender) immediately would create $16.2 million in cap space. Restructurings of other veteran contracts could kick the can by pushing cap space into future years.

Whatever happens, changes are coming to the Miami roster. Starting with Thomas and Timmons.

Report: Panthers could tag Graham Gano but also want to keep Andrew Norwell

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The Panthers hope to keep offensive guard Andrew Norwell, who becomes a free agent next month, but they are more likely to tag kicker Graham Gano, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports.

The offensive line tag number of more than $14 million for Norwell is cost prohibitive for a guard. The league’s highest-paid guard, on average, is Cleveland’s Kevin Zeitler, who signed a five-year, $60 million deal last year. (Dallas’ Zach Martin likely surpasses Zeitler soon.)

The tag for Gano projects to be $5 million. Teams have used the franchise tag only only three kickers since 2012.

Gano, 30, made his first Pro Bowl last season after converting on a league-best 96.7 percent of his field goal attempts.

Norwell, 26, has started 54 games in his four seasons in Carolina. He signed a one-year, $2.7 million deal before last season.

Could an unexpected team enter the chase for Kirk Cousins?

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When it comes to the looming chase for quarterback Kirk Cousins, it’s easy to compile the universe of potential candidates: Broncos, Jets, Browns, Cardinals, Vikings, Bills, maybe the Jaguars.

But what if all the talk about Cousins gets other teams intrigued about the possibility of upgrading their current quarterback situation? Consider, for example, the Cowboys. Specifically, the guy who owns the Cowboys.

Jerry Jones knows the value of a franchise quarterback. He was smitten four years ago with Johnny Manziel. He got lucky two years ago with Dak Prescott. He could now get intrigued by Cousins.

“I wouldn’t put that past him at all,” PFT’s Charean Williams, who covered the Cowboys for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, recently said during a visit to PFT Live. “We’ve seen it so many times with his intrigue with quarterbacks. We saw it back with Johnny Manziel. He just gets in his head some of these quarterbacks that he falls in love with. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a little love there for Kirk Cousins and is thinking about those down-the-field throws. . .  He does throw the ball down the field way better than most quarterbacks in the NFL. [Ben] Roethlisberger’s right there with him. I know how much Jerry loves that part of the game. I could see that.”

Jones likely would be dissuaded by his son, Stephen Jones, or by coach Jason Garrett. But it would be naive to think Jerry Jones hasn’t at least wondered whether Cousins would be an upgrade over Prescott, and whether the Cowboys should find a way to get the soon-to-be-former Washington starter.

Then there are the Giants. New G.M. Dave Gettleman and new coach Pat Shurmur have reiterated their interest in keeping Eli Manning around. Does that change if they think the Jets have become a viable candidate to bring Cousins to the Big Apple, potentially making the Little Brother franchise the Big Brother, for a change?

Finally, how about the Saints? If 39-year-old Drew Brees wants top-of-market money, would it make sense to make that same investment in Cousins?

It’s unlikely that Cousins will end up with anyone but one of the candidates already on the radar screen. But in a league full of owners who from time to time become infatuated with bright, shiny objects, the brightest and shiniest object is and will be Kirk Cousins, the first healthy franchise quarterback under 30 to hit the open market.

Robert Nkemdiche has “clean slate” with new coaching staff

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Defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche showed off the kind of playmaking ability that led the Cardinals to draft him in the first round of the 2016 draft when he scooped up a fumble and returned it 22 yards for a touchdown against Giants in Week 16 last season.

The problem for the Cardinals is that big plays from Nkemdiche have been few and far between over his first two seasons. Plays of any kind have been a rarity, in fact. Nkemdiche has missed 15 games and played just 335 snaps as a professional, but the team’s new coaching staff says that won’t have a bearing on how they view him heading into the 2018 season.

Defensive line coach Don Johnson made an appearance on 98.7 Arizona Sports this week and said the team will move back to square one.

“We are going to start from scratch so he’s got a clean slate,” Johnson said. “But, he’s got to stay on track.”

Nkemdiche will have to stay healthy to get on track and that’s been an issue for Nkemdiche in each of his two preseasons with the Cardinals. If he can tackle that issue, he’ll be able to move on to trying to become a consistent presence on defense for the first time.

Report: Case involving DeSean Jackson’s wrecked car now inactive

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Tampa police no longer are investigating the case involving DeSean Jackson‘s vehicle that was found wrecked with bullets and marijuana inside on Christmas Eve, Jeanna Laine of ESPN reports. The case is inactive because no witnesses or evidence place a driver behind the wheel at the time of the crash, via Laine.

Police found the Chevy Silverado with the driver nowhere in sight. The truck, which hit a tree, had 6.3 grams of marijuana inside it, an amount that would be a misdemeanor offense in Florida. Police also found two .38 caliber hollow-point bullets, which are legal in Florida.

The Bucs receiver said a friend used his car without his permission, and he gave police the name of the driver.

Colts announce deal with “one of the best players in NFL history”

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Adam Vinatieri officially will return to the Colts, for a 13th season. The team announced the transaction on Thursday.

“Adam is one of the best players in NFL history and we are excited to keep him in Indianapolis,” Colts G.M. Chris Ballard said in a statement. “He continues to play at a high level and his experience and production are valuable assets for our team. Adam is the consummate pro and a key leader in our locker room.”

That’s incredibly high praise for Vinatieri, a sure-fire (and possibly first-ballot) Hall of Famer. It’s one thing to call him the best kicker in NFL history. Dubbing him one of the best players in league history gives him a level of respect that few kickers or punters ever have enjoyed.

But Ballard is right. Regardless of not playing offense or defense, Vinatieri has distinguished himself as one of the very best players in league history, from both his overall accomplishments and his clutch performances in three Super Bowl-winning seasons with the Patriots.

Broncos ditching paper tickets for 2018

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A great and greater percentage of the NFL has gotten rid of 100 percent of all paper tickets.

The Broncos have announced that they are going electronic only for 2018. As explained by Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post, teams like the Cowboys and Falcons already have implemented mobile-only ticketing. Soon, all teams will go that route.

“The Broncos are committed to utilizing the latest in ticket technology to provide the best experience for our fans,” Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Dennis Moore said in a statement. “Broncos fans have used mobile ticketing significantly over the last two seasons with more than 35 percent already accessing their tickets through this method. We look forward to all of our ticket holders experiencing the benefits of mobile tickets and will work with our fans to make this a smooth transition.”

The goal will be to make it easier and more efficient to enter the stadium, along with a significantly reduced risk of tickets being stolen or lost. But it definitely will require an adjustment, especially for people without smartphones or email addresses. For those very few fans, the team will make radio-frequency identification cards available.

The good news is that the older folks in the crowd can try to impress children, nieces, and nephews with their collections of ticket stubs. By texting them a photo of the ticket stub to their smartphones while sitting in the same room with them.

Report: Franchise tag unlikely for Sheldon Richardson

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Before the window to use the franchise tag opened earlier this week, we ran through options to get the tag from each team in the NFL.

When it came to the Seahawks, two names were mentioned. One was tight end Jimmy Graham, but there haven’t been many signs that the team is planning to go that way. The other was defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, who the Seahawks acquired in a trade with the Jets for a second-round pick and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse last year.

That may not be in the offing either. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that a tag on Richardson, which would likely come in at around $14 million, is considered unlikely.

Rapoport adds that the Seahawks want to hold onto Richardson, who said he expects to remain in Seattle when the regular season came to an end. If talks toward a deal to make that happen don’t progress, they could decide on an alternate approach to using the tag before the March 6 deadline to do so.

Patrick Peterson’s role unlikely to change much under new staff

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Since he arrived in Arizona, cornerback Patrick Peterson‘s assignment, more often than not, is the opponent’s best receiver. Peterson traveled to cover a particular receiver in 11 of 16 games last season, according to Pro Football Focus.

He recently told the team website that he doesn’t want his role to “change too much” but he does want to be more involved with the game plan.

New Cardinals secondary coach David Merritt Sr. said the previous coaching staff’s plan for Peterson worked, so it’s unlikely to change much.

“You stop and think about it,” Merritt said, via Kyle Odegard of the team website. “Seven years I think he’s played, and he’s made the Pro Bowl all seven years, so obviously what they’ve been doing with him has worked.”

Merritt said he will meet with coach Steve Wilks, defensive coordinator Al Holcomb and assistant defensive backs coach Charlie Harbison each week to determine the best way to use Peterson.

“We’ll start to formulate a plan, as far as, ‘Is the best thing this week to have Patrick shadow their top receiver?’” Merritt said. “Week to week, game plan by game plan is what we’re going to try to do with him.”

Russell Wilson says he’s heading to Yankees camp on Monday

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Offseason programs don’t start in the NFL for a while, but players are doing their own work to get ready for the 2018 season until teams are permitted to start holding practices.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson‘s work will involve some time on the baseball diamond. Wilson played minor league baseball for a couple of years before devoting his full athletic attentions to football, but has remained tied to the sport by spending spring training time with the Texas Rangers.

Wilson’s rights were traded to the Yankees earlier this month and he’ll be making an appearance at their camp next week. In a post to Twitter, Wilson announced he’ll be reporting to Tampa to do some work with the Yankees on Monday.

Wilson said he’ll spend a week with the Yankees and told Yankee star Aaron Judge, who was recruited by colleges as a tight end, they’ll throw some passes while he’s down there. He also said they’d have a home run derby, which seems like it should be an easy win for Judge after he launched 52 of them to set a MLB record for rookies during the 2017 season.

Julian Edelman “determined” in his rehab from knee injury

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Julian Edelman posted an update on his progress from ACL surgery, sharing a video of his rehab. The Patriots receiver used his Instagram account to show a few seconds of him running with cords, writing the word “determined” in his post.

He chose Drake’s “God’s Plan” as his music of choice in the video.

Edelman injured his right knee August 25, undergoing surgery four weeks later.

He said at Super Bowl LII that his knee was “pretty healthy.”

“You never want to put a number on anything,” Edelman said in an interview with Barstool Radio, via Mike Reiss of ESPN. “You put a number on something, you’re feeling great this day [but] you go out and the next day, something swells up, this, that, and then who’s fault is that? Is it the trainer’s fault? Is it the player’s fault? Is it the doctor’s fault? You just say ‘We’re trying to get better each day.'”

Giants waive Deontae Skinner

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The Giants have cleared a spot on their offseason roster.

The team announced on Thursday that they have waived linebacker Deontae Skinner.

Skinner spent parts of the last two seasons on the Giants active roster. He originally signed to their practice squad in September 2016 and then moved to the active roster for four games. He failed to make the team out of camp and spent time on the Raiders practice squad before returning for three games. He ended last season on special teams.

Skinner made seven tackles in his seven regular season appearances and also had 16 tackles in seven games with the Patriots in 2014.

Odds say Tim Tebow is a long shot to make it to AAA, let alone the majors

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New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson raised some eyebrows recently when he said Tim Tebow’s foray into baseball is a lot more than just a gimmick.

Alderson rebuffed those who think Tebow has no business on a baseball field by saying, “I think he will play in the major leagues.”

The odds say otherwise.

Bovada is taking actual bets on whether Tebow will make it to the major leagues, and the odds are overwhelmingly against it: If you think Tebow is going to play in Major League Baseball during either the 2018 or 2019 regular seasons, you can get 6/1 odds on it. The odds on Tebow failing to make it to the majors in the next two years are 1/10. In other words, you’d have to bet $1,000 to win $100 if you’re betting against Tebow making it, and a $100 bet on Tebow making it would pay off at $600 if he actually does it.

In fact, Bovada even thinks Tebow is a long shot to make it to AAA ball. The odds on that are 4/1 that he’ll make it to AAA, or 1/8 if you bet against it.

Tebow played better than most people were expecting in the minor leagues last year. But he’s still a long way from the majors, and at age 30 unlikely ever to get there. No matter what the Mets are saying publicly.

Adam Vinatieri, Colts reach agreement on one-year deal

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Wednesday brought word that the Colts were on the verge of an agreement with kicker Adam Vinatieri on a one-year deal that would keep the veteran in Indianapolis.

Thursday brings word that the deal is done. Adam Schefter of ESPN was the first to report Vinatieri has agreed to a contract for a 13th season in Indianapolis and a 23rd season in the NFL.

Vinatieri’s return puts him in position to become the NFL’s all-time leader in points scored and field goals. He trails Morten Andersen in both categories and another healthy year will add further polish to his case to join Andersen in the Pro Football Hall of Fame once he finally calls it a career.

The return also puts Vinatieri in position to share the locker room with rookies who weren’t born when he began his playing career with the Patriots in 1996, which is something few players have been able to do during the course of their careers.