John Schneider says Seahawks haven’t addressed quarterback position enough in draft

AP

The Seattle Seahawks have drafted only one quarterback in the eight years the front office has been led by head coach Pete Carroll and G.M. John Schneider. That selection was a massive success as it gave Seattle Russell Wilson in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, who has helped guide the Seahawks to five playoff appearances, two Super Bowl trips and a championship in his six seasons under center.

However, Schneider came to Seattle from the Green Bay Packers organization. He brought with him the fundamental idea of wanting to draft a quarterback every year like his former boss Ted Thompson aspired to do with the Packers. With only one quarterback selected in eight years, Schneider doesn’t feel he’s done a good enough job of bringing quarterbacks to Seattle.

“I don’t feel like we have — and me, personally — have done a good enough job of continuing to acquire quarterbacks all the way through,” Schneider said, via Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune.

Signing Trevone Boykin as an undrafted free agent is the only other rookie of note to make the team in a supporting role to Wilson. Veterans such as Matt Flynn, Tarvaris Jackson, Terrelle Pryor (before he converted to wide receiver), R.J. Archer, Austin Davis and Stephen Morris have been among the free agent signings Seattle has used to fill their quarterback room.

And ever since the Packers had to scramble in search of reason why Aaron Rodgers was dropping in the 2005 NFL Draft, Schneider has vowed to make sure he knew everything he could about the quarterbacks in the draft. Even if his team already had a starter set in stone. It’s also why he went to Wyoming to take a look at Josh Allen, just in case.

“I was in Green Bay when Aaron Rodgers fell,” Schneider said. “So we didn’t … I mean, Aaron Rodgers was supposed to be the first pick in the draft, and we weren’t necessarily as prepared as we should have been for him to fall. When you get do draft day, you want to make decisions like game-day decisions, right? So prepared. And so, quite frankly, when we acquired Aaron that day we had to make some more calls during (the) draft, which you never really want to do, right? ‘OK, why is he falling?'”

Davis was re-signed and Morris added to the roster in recent weeks to fill out the team’s quarterback room as OTAs begin. However, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Schneider took a quarterback for the first time since drafting Wilson in 2012 this weekend.

Ravens waive Stephane Nembot, Brandon Kublanow with failed physicals

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The Baltimore Ravens waived a pair of offensive linemen after each player failed a physical with the team.

Tackle Stephane Nembot and center Brandon Kublanow were each released by the Ravens on Tuesday.

Nembot, a former undrafted free agent out of the University of Colorado, spent each of his two seasons with Baltimore on injured reserve. He hasn’t played in a single regular season game, but appeared in three preseason games in 2016 and one last year.

Kublanow, also undrafted out of Georgia, missed his entire rookie season after landing on injured reserve. Kublanow was injured before ever playing in a preseason game.

Kirk Cousins spent time working with, getting to know Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs

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New Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins hasn’t been able to officially work wit his new teammates until recently. Earlier this month, he unofficially worked with his top two new receivers, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, in Atlanta.

“Stef and Adam came down and spent a couple of days together, and I thought that was productive,” Cousins said Tuesday, via the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “More than just the football. Just to get to know one another a little and build somewhat of a foundation before we started with the whole crew.”

Now that Cousins and the Vikings have commenced the offseason program, players are noticing something special about their new quarterback.

“He’s a great leader,” tight end Kyle Rudolph said regarding Cousins. “You can just see that kind of naturally he has that aura about him.”

The aura may have something to do with getting a record-setting, $28 million-per-year contract. Regardless, the Vikings have gone all in at the quarterback position, and soon enough we’ll see if the move pays dividends.

Report: Troy Aikman seeks a raise for Thursday Night Football

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Troy Aikman wants a raise to add Thursday Night Football to his workload, Michael McCarthy of SportingNews.com reports.

It seems a reasonable request considering FOX was willing to pay Peyton Manning as much as $10 million a year. Manning turned down FOX and ESPN because he said last week he wasn’t ready to be a “critic,” especially given his brother, Eli Manning, still is playing.

FOX wants Joe Buck and Aikman to call its newly acquired Thursday Night Football in addition to their Sunday work. McCarthy reports that FOX’s A-Team is expected to “cherry-pick the best TNF games” because of Buck’s work in the MLB playoffs and World Series.

FOX, which outbid CBS and NBC for the package with a five-year, $3.3 billion deal, hopes to have a new deal with Aikman and Buck by next month, the New York Post reports.

Aikman recently told TMZ Sports he was “worth a little more” than Manning was offered because the former Cowboys quarterback was “doing more games.”

Mark Richardson in support of Ben Navarro’s bid to buy Panthers

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Out of the four candidates bidding for a chance to own the Carolina Panthers, team owner Jerry Richardson’s son, Mark, has his favorite out of the group.

According to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, Mark is pulling for South Carolina businessman Ben Navarro is his top choice to purchase the franchise.

I’m sure there are multiple people that could be the right next owner. I personally know Ben and I know what he stands for,” Richardson said. “I know where his heart and his head is, and what his commitments are. And I can’t imagine a better person being the next owner than him.”

Richardson is a former team president and a part owner of the team his father has controlled since the franchise was founded in 1993. While Mark has his preference, it will be his father’s decision as to who will take the controlling interest of the team.

Navarro, Alan Kestenbaum, Michael Rubin and David Tepper are the lead figures of the entities engaged in the bidding process for the team.

“I’m a fan of his and I’m a fan of what he stands for and how he does things. He’s committed to the right things for the right reasons,” Richardson said.

“I think he’d be a wonderful owner.”

The NFL would still have to approve the sale of the franchise to any of the candidates selected.

Former NFL defensive end Dee Hardison dies at 61

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Former NFL defensive end Dee Hardison died of heart failure Saturday in North Carolina. He was 61.

The Bills made him a second-round pick in 1978. Hardison spent three years with the Bills, who converted him to an offensive lineman before releasing him late in the 1981 season.

The Giants signed him, and Hardison played in both of their postseason games that season. He played four of 11 seasons with the Giants from 1982-85 before two years with the Chargers and one with the Chiefs.

“In 1983, when I arrived to play football for the New York Giants, the first person I met was Dee and his sidekick, Jerome Sally,” defensive end Leonard Marshall said, via quotes distributed by the team. “Immediately, we began to grow a bond and brotherhood.

“I became a quick study and learning more of the technical aspects of how to play the position of right defensive end by monitoring his movement on the field and his approach to playing a game. It made me work harder to become the starter in my rookie season with the Giants. Dee was a great teammate and one that I will never forget.”

Hardison’s funeral will be Saturday at noon ET at Northwood Temple Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Dalvin Cook has “knocked the rehab out of the park”

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Dalvin Cook will participate in organized team activities and minicamp on a limited basis and expects to be a full participant by the time training camp starts.

The Vikings running back tore the ACL in his left knee in Week 4, ending his rookie season on injured reserve.

“It’s a process. It’s a journey,” Cook said, via quotes distributed by the team. “It is something that you have to trust yourself and know that you did everything in your power to get your knee back the way it is at. I attack this thing every day and I did what I needed to do to get to this point. I had no doubt when I first touched the field is where I wanted to be at.”

Cook has done some work on the field since offseason workouts began April 16, and Vikings athletic trainer Eric Sugarman said Cook has “knocked the rehab out of the park.”

“He’s done great job,” Sugarman said. “He’s been here every day since the injury occurred, post-surgery and really hasn’t missed a beat. . . . He’s been here with a smile on his face every day. Really just to give him the credit because he’s put in all the work to get to the point to where he is.”

Does John Dorsey’s assessment of Tyrod Taylor point to Baker Mayfield?

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Four weeks ago, Browns G.M. John Dorsey visited PFT Live at the league meetings in Florida. In the aftermath of the interview, multiple readers mentioned on Twitter that things said about Dorsey regarding new Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor possibly contained strong clues about Dorsey’s assessment of the incoming quarterback class.

“I loved Tyrod coming out of college, I always did,” Dorsey said at the time. “I thought there was a dynamic set about him, not only his athleticism [and his] ability to extend a play,  but he had — as coach [Frank] Beamer would always say, ‘He’s one of the best leaders I’ve ever been around.’  He’s got enough arm talent with accuracy to get the ball downfield, and he doesn’t turn the ball over.”

Of the current crop of rookies, Baker Mayfield represents the closest approximation to the skills and abilities that Taylor possesses. Mayfield has the athleticism to extend plays, he’s widely regarded as a great leader, and he had only six interceptions against 43 touchdowns last season, along with a completion percentage north of 70, more than 4,600 passing yards, and an eye-popping 11.5 yards per pass.

The other top contenders at No. 1 (Josh Allen and Sam Darnold) have accuracy and turnover concerns, respectively, and they lack the mobility that Mayfield consistently has displayed.

Not that the sudden talk of Mayfield to the Browns at No. 1 should be a surprise. For a while, Darnold was regarded as the clubhouse leader. A couple of weeks ago, Peter King raised the prospect of Josh Allen being the first pick. Now, Mayfield is gaining focus thanks in part to more not-really-news from ESPN regarding the notion that an unnamed league source has observed that Mayfield remains in the conversation for the top pick.

As noted earlier today by Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Browns coach Hue Jackson made it clear last month that Mayfield is in play for the top pick, that Jackson hasn’t wavered about Mayfield as being in the discussion for the first pick. “So let’s not act all surprised that he is,” Cabot said.

Based on Dorsey’s remarks about Taylor, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised if Mayfield isn’t simply in the conversation to be the pick, but if he actually becomes the pick.

Sam Darnold explains how teams test incoming rookies on playbooks

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The pre-draft process routinely includes efforts by teams to test players regarding playbooks. In a recent visit to PFT Live, quarterback Sam Darnold explained his experiences with certain teams that quizzed him about their playbooks.

“Some teams will do that,” Darnold said. “Some teams will ask how much information I retained. Then some teams they’ll literally just say, ‘We’ll give you three minutes. Write everything you can about the playbook that you can remember.’ There’s just different strategies that teams use. They want to see how you react under pressure. And they also, you know, it’s a good way of testing that but it’s a good way of obviously seeing how much information you can soak in because they only give it to you a couple days in advance. It’s a good way of seeing how fast a kid can learn the information and retain it. . . . Usually the owner and the G.M. are in the room as well, ‘Go on the board and we’ll give you three minutes to write down everything you know about the playbook that we just gave you.’ That’s a good way of kind of testing you know how the kid kinda responds to pressure.

Darnold said that, for the most part, the playbooks he received from teams were “not really different from the USC playbooks” he receiver.

“It’s just different terminology,” Darnold said. “Different words that you have to learn. For the most part, everyone’s running the same concepts. The same formations. It’s all kind of the same. You just have to learn the different terminology. . . . I mean the playbooks that they give us are very condensed. Obviously it’s not the whole playbook. . . . Every playbook that I’ve been given I’ve been able to learn and pick up right away.”

Mastery of the playbook is simply one part of the overall pre-draft process. As Darnold tells it, he aced it. That surely can’t hurt his effort to get drafted as early as possible.

Jason Witten: Hopefully Jason Garrett’s mom doesn’t watch All or Nothing

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Jason Garrett claims he hasn’t watched All or Nothing yet, but he surely knows his language in the eight-part documentary of the Cowboys has created a stir.

“I really haven’t seen it,” Garrett said Tuesday. “I saw bits and pieces of it along the way. So, I don’t really know that much about it to comment.”

Yet, the Cowboys coach turned several shades of red when owner Jerry Jones jokingly dropped the F-bomb, making fun of Garrett’s repeated R-rated language in the series.

“That’s an ender,” Garrett said.

The release of the behind-the-scenes shots of Garrett talking to his team has changed the coach’s public image. Many fans and media previously viewed him as robotic, which was an inaccurate portrayal.

“People probably enjoy seeing that because he is so controlled and poised in a lot of ways,” Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said. “I think it’ll be good for people to see that side of him. Hopefully his mom’s not watching it.”

Witten also gives an expletive-laced speech to his teammates after a 37-9 loss to Philadelphia dropped the Cowboys to 5-5 in November.

“I’ve only gotten to see bits and pieces of it,” Witten said. “It’s interesting because when you’re living it and they’re there, you sometimes forget that the cameras are there. The eye in the sky. But I think when you reflect back, they’re able to capture so many neat memories and situations. I’d be anxious to see it. I’m looking forward to watching it. Like anybody, I think some of it you wish you could protect. But that’s part of playing in the spotlight and having this opportunity. I think it’ll be good for fans to see perspective and what all lies behind the scenes.”

Report: Agent says diluted sample caused Antonio Callaway’s positive test

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Former Florida receiver Antonio Callaway tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine, via multiple tweets.

Callaway’s new agent, Malki Kawa, said a diluted sample caused the positive test.

“Callaway has told those close to him he was over-hydrated and will address the issue with teams,” Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports.

Callaway was expected to be a mid-round pick, though he had red flags already.

UF suspended Callaway for the 2017 season. His off-field problems included a citation for marijuana possession last May.

He made 54 catches for 721 yards and three touchdowns in 2016 and 89 receptions for 1,399 yards and seven touchdowns in two seasons at UF.

Rob Gronkowski: “I will be back for the 2018 season with the Pats”

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Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has removed any doubt: He’s playing this season.

Gronk, who said after the Super Bowl that he needed some time to consider whether he wanted to keep playing, wrote today on Instagram that he spoke with Patriots coach Bill Belichick and confirmed that he is playing this season.

“I met with coach today and informed him I will be back for the 2018 season with the Pats. I have been working out, staying in shape and feel great. Looking forward to another championship run,” Gronkowski wrote.

Gronkowski did not say whether he received any assurance that he won’t be traded, but he specifically referred to playing “with the Pats,” which suggests that he believes he’s staying in New England.

When healthy, Gronkowski is the best tight end in the NFL. Although there have been reports that Gronkowski and Belichick don’t see eye to eye over Gronk training with Tom Brady‘s guru Alex Guerrero, Belichick has to be thrilled to have the best tight end in the game back.

Shaquem Griffin vows to continue silencing doubters

AP

Shaquem Griffin expects to be drafted. Of course, the University of Central Florida linebacker always has expected to be drafted.

It’s others who doubted, some of whom have come around after seeing his Scouting Combine and Pro Day workouts.

“What I did so far is only the beginning,” Griffin said Tuesday during a promotional appearance at The Star, the Cowboys’ training complex. “I knew what I was going to do, and I did it. But that’s just the beginning of everything I want to show and what I want to showcase. The doubters are not gone. They’re just a little quiet right now. They’re trying to see how everything is going to go. But doubters are never going to stop. They’re going to be doubting the rest of my life. Once they come back out from being silent, I’m just going to make sure I give them a reason to be silent again, and that’s what I plan on doing.”

Griffin was born with a condition that resulted in amputation of his left hand when he was 4. He never has let it stop him, making 195 tackles, 33.5 tackles for loss, 18.5 sacks, three interceptions and four forced fumbles in his career at UCF.

Griffin improved his draft stock with a 4.38-second 40-yard dash and 20 repetitions in the 225-pound bench press in Indianapolis.

“I’m hoping to be drafted and whatever team gives me an opportunity to be drafted and gives me an opportunity to play with them, that’s going to be a team that’s going to get a good caliber guy who’s going to give everything I’ve got,” Griffin said. “Whatever team does give me an opportunity, they’re going to see what Shaq Griffin is all about.”

Jerry Jones hopes for positive reaction for Roger Goodell at draft

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Boos for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have become as much of a staple of the NFL Draft as pundits raving about a prospect’s pad level or explosiveness.

Given his recent battles with the league, one might assume that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wouldn’t mind if this week’s crowd at AT&T Stadium kept the trend alive. Jones said otherwise during a press conference on Tuesday, however.

Jones said he appreciates “having this draft here in Dallas” and that he hopes fans show they feel the same way by giving Goodell a positive reception. Jones was then asked if he’d be willing to bet paychecks on a warm reaction from the crowd.

“May be a pretty good bet, but seriously we all know it’s a convenient place to be,” Jones said. “I don’t know of anybody maybe other than me that’s had more boos than Roger has. I know about how that works. I do hope we can be positive in our reception. We are going to do something pretty special and he did have a final say in that.”

We’ll find out on Thursday night, but there may not be too many people joining Jones in a bet on a big hug for Goodell.

Josh Allen wants pressure of being No. 1 overall pick, going to Browns

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If the Browns want Josh Allen, Josh Allen wants the Browns to know he wants them.

The Wyoming quarterback made it clear he wants to be the No. 1 overall draft choice.

“Yeah, it would mean that I’m going to Cleveland,” Allen said Tuesday. “My biggest interest of being the No. 1 pick, obviously the pressure that comes along with that, I would love to have that pressure on my shoulders because I’ve always thrived in those situations, and I feel like Cleveland would be a great spot to be. But if I’m not, I’m not, and I’m going to do whatever I can to help the team that actually picks me and actually wants me so we’ll go from there.”

Allen, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Shaquem Griffin and Mason Rudolph joined Jason Witten at The Star, the Cowboys’ training facility, for a Day of Mentorship for young men from Witten’s Score Foundation sponsored by the Collection by Michael Strahan at JCPenney.

Allen was the top draw of the media crowd since he has a chance to go first.

Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield also could be in play for the Browns. Some have USC’s Sam Darnold as the top-rated quarterback.

“It doesn’t bother me one way or another,” Allen said when asked who the top-rated quarterback is. “Everybody’s got their own opinion and their own say. In today’s age, everybody wants to be right, so there’s people that hate you; there’s people that love you. I’m going to go out there and play my game, and whatever team is fortunate to pick me, or I’m fortunate to be picked by, is going to be a team I’m going to give everything to. Hopefully I’ll be there for the next 15 years. It’s an exciting time, but at this moment, right now, I’m content with whatever happens. My job is done, and now it’s just sitting back and hearing my name being called.”

Allen said he had seven visits and named the Browns, Giants, Jets, Broncos, Bills and Cardinals as showing the most interest.

“Whatever happens,” Allen said. “I visited seven teams for a reason, just because of the uncertainty. Whatever happens happens, and I guess we’ll find out come Thursday.”