Jimmy Garoppolo hosts weekend throwing sessions

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Like finding more places in a pizza to stuff cheese, football players have a knack for finding more time to work out.

With plenty of quarterbacks organizing sessions before and/or after the offseason program, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has another twist on the effort: During. Garoppolo told reporters on Monday that he’s now getting teammates together on Saturdays for extra work.

“We had our first one this weekend,” Garoppolo said. “It’s just something that I like to do. It kinds of gets us away from the coaches and everything, and allows me to talk to the receivers about specific things, or the tight ends or running backs. We try to get everyone out there that we can. I understand people have things that they have to get to. But we had a great showing this Saturday. It was good. Just to be on the same page with those guys, talking through route concepts and how they see it versus how I see it, it just gets us on the same page.”

Garoppolo realizes that it’s important not to overdo it on the weekend, given that players are working out during the week.

“You’ve got to take care of their legs,” Garoppolo said. “They’ve got us working pretty hard during the week, so you’ve got to be careful with that. But those guys, our receivers, tight ends and running backs came back in great shape. The conditioning part of it, it always makes my job easier when I can throw forever because those guys are willing to run. It’s nice to have that luxury.”

Garoppolo explained that it wasn’t an idea that he lifted from Tom Brady, but that it’s something Garoppolo has been doing for a while.

“I’ve done that since high school,” Garoppolo said. “It’s one of those things, when the coaches aren’t there you kind of see a different side of guys. They open up a little bit or tell you how they see a concept compared to how it is written in the book. Just a little bit at a time for us to talk through things, I guess.”

While Garoppolo chose to be candid about the fact that he and other players are working out on their own, he wasn’t willing to say everything — including the location of the workouts.

“I can’t say that,” he said.

So the place where it happens will remain a secret. But it’s no secret that the 49ers have a new franchise quarterback, and that he’s doing what he needs to do to make the team better.

Report: Cardinals picking up D.J. Humphries’ fifth-year option

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The Cardinals will exercise the fifth-year option in D.J. Humphries‘ contract, Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports.

Humphries is scheduled to make $9.6 million in 2019, which is guaranteed only for injury.

The 24th overall pick in 2015 has played only 18 games in three seasons. The Cardinals made him inactive for every game his rookie season. He opened 2016 as the starting right tackle before left tackle Jared Veldheer was injured, prompting the team to move Humphries to left tackle.

He started five games at left tackle after Veldheer’s injury before a concussion forced Humphries to miss the final three games of that season.

Last season, Humphries started five games at left tackle before a knee injury. He underwent surgery to repair a torn MCL and dislocated knee cap, finishing the year on injured reserve.

Tom Telesco on possibility of drafting a QB: We always have an eye on the future

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Philip Rivers said last week he understands the Chargers will draft his future successor sooner or later. Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco didn’t rule out the team drafting a quarterback this year.

At the same time, Telesco gave Rivers a vote of confidence as the Chargers’ quarterback.

“The great thing right now is that we’re very happy with Philip,” Telesco said, via Hayley Elwood of the team website. “He’s our quarterback, hands down, rest assured, for this year and hopefully beyond. But we always have to have an eye on the future. That’s part of our job. There are a lot of other areas on our football team that we’d like to add to, too. That’s all part of it.

“I will say it’s a deep [quarterback] class, not only in the first round but some other rounds as well. We’ve seen it the last couple of years, the quarterback classes have been pretty good. Guys are coming into the league and playing a little bit quicker than they used to. But I have a hard time comparing.”

Rivers has started every game since 2006, and the Chargers have no reason to believe he won’t do the same again this season. But Rivers also is 36, so the Chargers will have to start thinking about the future at some point soon.

Kam Chancellor will undergo further testing on his neck this summer

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The Seahawks still don’t know whether Kam Chancellor will play this season.

The safety will undergo further testing this summer to determine his future, Seahawks General Manager John Schneider said Monday.

“He’s going to have a scan I think it’s either late June or early July,” Schneider said, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.

Chancellor, 30, injured his neck in a November game against the Cardinals. The four-time Pro Bowler has indicated that he intends to play this season, but doctors will have to clear him first.

His base salary of $6.8 million for 2018 is fully guaranteed, whether he plays or not.

Chancellor has missed 16 games over the past three seasons. He played nine last season.

Tom Telesco has no time for questions about Baker Mayfield not having time to study playbook

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Last week, comments emerged from Baker Mayfield regarding his meeting with the Chargers, and his admitted lack of knowledge about their playbook. This week, Chargers G.M. Tom Telesco had the perfect response to Mayfield’s remarks.

“I didn’t look at [the Chargers] playbook as much as a I should have,” Mayfield told Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated. “It could have gone a little bit better . . . but at the same time, I’m prioritizing which playbooks I’m going to learn. No offense to them, but I’ve got a lot on my plate.”

Said Telesco when asked about Mayfield’s comments by Dan Wolke of the Los Angeles Times: “I’m probably not prepared to comment on that. My plate’s pretty full. No offense, Dan.”

It’s a funny twist on Mayfield’s quote, and it shows that the teams definitely are paying attention to the things these guys say. None it means much, though, because Mayfield will indeed be long gone before the Chargers are on the clock.

Monday’s #PFTPM begins draft week with a bang


It’s draft week. The draft is coming. Eventually. Inevitably. Hopefully.

To fill the final few days before it all gets started, we’ve got plenty of products. From the content at PFT to PFT Live (the morning radio/TV show) to #PFTPM, a weekday podcast that has captured the affection of the quickly-growing group known as the @PFTPMPosse.

Monday’s edition of #PFTPM delves into plenty of developments from Monday, including a closer look at the shifting sands of Adam Schefter’s reporting on Tom Brady (and some speculation on what really may be going on behind the curtain), Sean Payton’s admission that he would have taken Patrick Mahomes if Marshon Lattimore were off the board, the curious message being sent by the 49ers about Reuben Foster, what the Browns may do with the No. 1 overall pick, and answers to plenty of your questions.

Coming Tuesday, we’ll have interviews with Josh Rosen, Bradley Chubb, and Calvin Ridley. Which means less of me and more of others. Which means a much improved edition of #PFTPM.

David Irving’s girlfriend retracts allegations

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David Irving‘s girlfriend, Angela Sanchez, has retracted claims of domestic abuse. Frisco (Texas) police began investigating Sanchez’s allegations after she called them twice Sunday night.

Sanchez said in a statement she lied to police because she was “emotional and upset.”

“On April 22nd, the father of my child and my current boyfriend had a vocal argument that spilled out into our front yard,” Sanchez said, via the Dallas Morning News. “My neighbors were concerned and called 911. I was very upset and made some allegations that were false at the time due to our vocal argument and my emotional state. I had no intentions of getting David into trouble. I was just very emotional and upset. I would like to be clear, although our relationship is not perfect, we love one another and David not not put his hands on me at any time. I’m deeply sorry this has caused both of us so much unwanted and undue attention. David is a great father and our focus is working on our relationship and raising our beautiful daughter.”

Irving, a Cowboys defensive lineman, denied on social media that he had done anything wrong.

Free kick’s fate will be determined by kickoff’s future

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The ever-growing #PFTPMPosse does an excellent job of posing great questions about the game we all love, every single day. On Monday, club member @GearsOfTed asked about the future of the free kick, given the uncertain future of the kickoff.

The free kick — a play that looks a lot like the kickoff but that includes a punt instead of a kick from a tee — happens after a safety, with the kick point being the 20 yard line of the team that allowed the two points. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, whatever the NFL ultimately does with the kickoff will also be done with the free kick.

As the kickoff has undergone significant changes in recent years, the NFL hasn’t changed the free kick at all, possibly because free kicks don’t happen very often. But a change apparently will happen to the free kick only once, and it will be dramatic.

The prevailing thought regarding a potential replacement for the kickoff/free kick is the fourth-and-15 play from scrimmage, which allows the kickoff to be simulated by a punt, the planned onside kick to be simulated by going for it, and the surprise onside kick to be simulated by a fake punt.

Eagles in contact with White House about a possible visit

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The Eagles confirmed they have had discussions with the White House about a visit with President Donald Trump. The team has made no decision.

“We have been in contact with White House representatives and are currently discussing the logistics of an upcoming visit to Washington,” the Eagles said, via Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “We are honored to receive this invitation and view this not only as an opportunity to be recognized for our on-field achievements, but also as an opportunity to engage in productive dialogue with the leaders of our country.”

Several Eagles, including Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long and Torrey Smith, already have said they would not visit the White House. Long and LeGarrette Blount were among Patriots players to skip the trip with the Patriots last April.

Eagles owner Jeff Lurie donated money to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and according to the New York Times, Lurie had strong words for President Trump during an October league meeting while discussing the national anthem protests by NFL players.

Nonetheless, it appears the White House has extended an invitation.

“We have been in conversations with the Eagles about timing and are working with them to make it happen,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, via the Times. “We hope to have something finalized in the next couple of weeks.”

The question now is whether the Eagles will accept. The fact that the team added “to engage in productive dialogue with the leaders of our country” to its statement indicates that maybe the Eagles are seeking something more than a photo op.

Report: Bills unlikely to trade up to No. 2

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The Giants might trade down from No. 2, but if they do, it’s unlikely Dave Gettleman’s buddy, Brandon Beane, will be the one moving up.

The Bills aren’t expected to use their picks to climb to the second spot, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. Instead, the Bills will pull the trigger on trading up only if a quarterback they like slips to No. 5 or No. 6, he adds.

Buffalo has plenty of ammunition to make a move, with two first-round choices, two second-round choices and two third-round choices.

The Jets’ trade up to the third spot has added intrigue to the No. 2 choice and what the Giants might do, and Beane and Gettleman worked together in Carolina.

But the Bills General Manager recently denied a report that the Giants and Bills have the framework in place for a trade.

“I don’t get into that, but that’s not true,” Beane told One Bills Live, via Ryan Talbot of Yahoo. “I’m going to leave it at that.”

Derrick Coleman works out for Jets

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The Jets worked out free agent fullback Derrick Coleman on Monday, Field Yates of ESPN reports.

Coleman spent the 2017 season with Atlanta. He played 16 games, rushing for 8 yards on two carries and catching two passes for 20 yards.

He played 22 percent of the team’s offensive snaps and 63.4 percent of the special teams snaps.

Coleman, 27, originally signed with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2012. He played four seasons for the Seahawks, appearing in 31 games with seven starts.

Coleman did not play in 2016.

No Kentucky Derby for Gronkowski the horse

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Anyone hoping to see Rob Gronkowski celebrating his namesake horse’s win at this year’s Kentucky Derby will have to find something else to root for at the track.

Gronkowski the horse will not be running at Churchill Downs on May 5. After a report on Monday of a “setback” that could dash plans for a Derby run, the horse’s owners announced that the horse has indeed been scratched. The horse ran a fever over the weekend that required antibiotics and won’t be making the trip to Louisville as a result.

“We are beyond disappointed that Gronkowski will miss the Kentucky Derby,” Tom Ludt of Phoenix Thoroughbred said. “To have a Derby contender with our first group of three-year-olds was a dream come true, and to have had New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski join us on that journey made it even more exciting. But we must put the welfare of the horse first and we will look forward to the colt recovering quickly and to his future races.”

The Patriots tight end recently acquired a stake in the horse. He’s also been hanging out in the world of dirt bikes while the Patriots offseason program rolls on without his participation.

Chargers picking up Melvin Gordon’s 2019 option

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The Chargers are preparing to make a first-round pick on Thursday night and they spent a little bit of time leading up to the draft making sure that their 2015 first-round pick will remain around for at least two more seasons.

General Manager Tom Telesco announced at a Monday press conference that the team will exercise running back Melvin Gordon‘s option for the 2019 season. Telesco made Gordon the 15th overall selection in 2015.

Gordon had a rocky rookie year that included six fumbles, but has been more productive over the last two years. He rushed 254 times for 997 yards in 2016 and bumped that up to 284 carries for 1,105 yards last year. He also caught 99 passes and scored 24 total touchdowns over the last two years.

Austin Ekeler served as the No. 2 back for the Chargers last year and the team could add further depth at the position this week by plucking a player from what’s generally considered to be a strong crop of backs in the draft.

Jon Robinson would love to have more draft picks

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In his first two drafts as the Titans General Manager, Jon Robinson has shown a willingness to make trades to move his team up and down the draft board when opportunities come up.

It sounds like a trade down is the likeliest move for Robinson and the Titans when the draft gets underway on Thursday night. The Titans had 19 picks the last two years, but only have six at their disposal right now and Robinson answered a question at Monday’s press conference about whether he was satisfied with that amount by shaking his head.

“I love my draft picks,” Robinson said, via the team’s website. “We’ll see how it goes. There may be a situation that comes up Thursday night, and we bail on No. 25. It is the value of the player that is staring at you on the board versus the value of the picks that you can get.”

Robinson didn’t rule out a move in the other direction, but noted the small number of picks he has to work with and suggested it might take a team “willing to mortgage [a pick] for next to nothing” in order for it to make sense for the Titans.

Chargers RFA wideout Tyrell Williams signs his tender

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Now that the deadline to sign offer sheets with other team has passed, there’s no real incentive for restricted free agents not to sign.

Thus, Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams has signed his RFA tender from the Chargers, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

That leaves just two unsigned restricted free agents around the league, Falcons cornerback Ricardo Allen and Chiefs defensive end Rakeem Nunez-Roches.

Williams was tendered at the second-round level, which made an offer sheet from another team unlikely anyway.

The 26-year-old had 69 catches for 1,059 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 2016, but regressed last year, with just 43 catches for 728 yards and two scores.