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Giants get down to 75-man limit, including two on IR

Anthony Dixon, Cooper Taylor AP

The Giants have gotten down to the 75 man limit, including placing a pair of players on injured reserve.

Safety Cooper Taylor (last year’s fifth-round pick) and wide receiver Marcus Harris were played on IR, sidelining them for the season.

The Giants also waived 13 players to get to today’s limit. They are: Tight end Jerome Cunningham, safety C.J. Barnett, tight end Xavier Grimble (wavied/injured), defensive back Charles James, kicker Brandon McManus, linebacker Spencer Adkins, safety Kyle Sebetic, defensive back Ross Weaver, defensive end Emmanuel Dieke, linebacker Justin Anderson, wide receiver Travis Harvey, defensive tackle Everett Dawkins and guard John Sullen.

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Richie Incognito has “very constructive” meeting with Bucs, but doesn’t sign

110413_Incognito-Richie_600 AP

The Buccaneers met with guard Richie Incognito for several hours on Monday night, but the meeting did not end with a contract that would bring Incognito back into the NFL.

Incognito, who became a free agent after serving out a suspension handed down by the Dolphins last season for his behavior toward former Dolphin Jonathan Martin, met with team officials and took a physical during his visit on Monday. General Manager Jason Licht said the team hasn’t signed Incognito now, but could in the future as they continue to look for ways to bolster a weak group of guards.

“We had a very constructive meeting with Richie. It went on for about 5 hours. He haven’t ruled it out. He remains an option,” Licht said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

There are other teams believed to have interest in talking to Incognito. As with all vested veterans, Incognito would be guaranteed a full year’s salary if he’s on a roster for Week One and that may keep him from landing with a team until September if teams are concerned about his ability to be a useful member of the team for the entire year.

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PFT Live: Rams talk with Jim Thomas, PFT Planet calls and tweets

St. Louis Rams v Cleveland Browns Getty Images

Another year, another torn ACL for Rams quarterback Sam Bradford.

On Tuesday’s edition of PFT Live, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch will join Mike Florio to discuss the Rams’s plans at quarterback in the wake of Bradford’s injury. Shaun Hill is the next man up on the roster, but we’ll see if Thomas thinks that the team will be looking outside the organization for more help at the position in the coming days. We’ll also talk to him about the rest of the roster, although the quarterback conversation dominates most others in St. Louis right now.

From there, we’ll try to find out what’s on the minds of PFT Planet with the start of the season drawing closer. If you have questions about possible cuts or position battles nearing their conclusion, let us know on Twitter — @ProFootballTalk — or by calling 888-237-5269 during the show.

It all gets started at noon ET and you can watch it all live by clicking right here.

 

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Quentin Jammer hopes to return to NFL

Jammer Getty Images

A top-10 draft pick in 2002 hopes to extend his career by one more year.

Defensive back Quentin Jammer, who played for the Chargers from 2002 through 2012, has returned to San Diego, where he’s working out on a full-time basis in the hopes of landing an NFL job for at least one more year.

Last season, Jammer played for the Broncos, appearing in 11 regular-season games with one start.

It’s possible that Jammer will find a home after Week One, at which time the balance of a vested veteran’s full salary isn’t, as a practical matter, guaranteed.  Every year at this time, veterans are cut before the salary becomes guaranteed.  But not nearly as many end up getting jobs after Week One.

Jammer, who has drawn interest from a couple of teams, hopes to be the exception.

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Browns place Michael Bowie on injured reserve

Seattle Seahawks Rookie Camp Getty Images

Even though the Seahawks placed tackle Michael Bowie on waivers after a shoulder injury, he was a popular player around the league as three teams joined the Browns in making claims for him.

The Browns had the highest waiver priority of those clubs and were therefore awarded Bowie. It was a move that Seahawks offensive line coach Tom Cable reacted to with some displeasure because of the “unwritten rule” about letting injured players on waivers revert to injured reserve with their original teams.

Other players have been claimed under similar circumstances, though, and the Seahawks had the option to wait until the cutdown to 75 players to ensure they’d hold onto Bowie on injured reserve. They chose not to do that, leaving the Browns to make the transaction on Tuesday.

The Browns also placed linebacker Darius Eubanks on injured reserve. Both players had shoulder surgery recently and will miss the entire season. The Browns have one more move to make to get to 75 players by Tuesday afternoon.

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Anthony Spencer will avoid PUP, won’t play Week One

Pittsburgh Steelers v Dallas Cowboys Getty Images

The Cowboys will be making a lot of roster moves in the coming days, but none of them should involve defensive end Anthony Spencer.

Spencer has spent all of training camp on the PUP list as he makes his way back from microfracture surgery that cost him all but a handful of snaps last season, but he won’t be transferred to the regular season version before Saturday’s cut to 53 players. Owner Jerry Jones made that announcement on KRLD Monday, although he cautioned that Spencer won’t be ready to face the 49ers on September 7.

“He has progressed at a surprisingly fast pace, and I would say that, not Week 1, but there’s a possibility that any time after that he could feel good enough,” Jones said, via the team’s website. “We feel good about his repairs. He’s got that microfracture, and we feel like that has completely grown in the way that that injury heals. It’s a question of him feeling good about his cuts.”

Carrying Spencer until he’s healthy will take some roster juggling and the Cowboys may have to do some more of it as they set their initial group. Jones mentioned defensive linemen Terrell McClain and DeMarcus Lawrence and the possible return of Josh Brent while discussing players “we’ve got to, by hook or crook, figure out ways for them” to be on the roster.

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Redskins cut 2012 fifth-round pick Adam Gettis

Washington Redskins v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

The Redskins started whittling their roster down to 75 players on Sunday with a series of moves and they’ve continued the process by parting ways with a member of their 2012 draft class.

Guard Adam Gettis, a fifth-round pick, was waived by the team, leaving them with seven of their nine selections from that year still on the roster.

Gettis played 13 games for the team in 2013 after seeing no regular season time during his rookie season. He never made a start for the team and the offseason acquisition of Shawn Lauvao to go with Chris Chester on the starting line left him in a losing battle for a backup spot on the line this time around.

The Redskins also waived cornerback Bryan Shepherd, who signed with the team as an undrafted free agent this spring. With Gettis and Shepherd cast aside, the team has two more moves to make before Tuesday afternoon’s deadline.

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The Chiefs are down to 75 players

Cincinnati Bengals v Kansas City Chiefs Getty Images

The Chiefs have made the needed moves to get down to 75 players ahead of Tuesday afternoon’s deadline.

Kansas City dropped 11 men from the roster on Monday and got the rest of the way there by dropping three more on Tuesday morning.

Tackle Ryan McKee, cornerback Kevin Rutland and cornerback Damond Smith have been waived and all three have practice squad eligibility should they pass through waivers unclaimed. The Chiefs and the other 31 teams in the league can start filling their 10 practice squad slots one final cuts have been made on Saturday.

In that round of final cuts, the Chiefs will have room for two more players than they originally imagined because of the suspensions handed down to wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and tackle Donald Stephenson.

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Theismann backtracks on his Cousins-over-RGIII talk

QBs AP

Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann recently sparked a firestorm by suggesting that, if his old team had an open competition at quarterback, Kirk Cousins would win the job over Robert Griffin III.

Let’s stop beating around the bush,” Theismann, a color analyst working for the team, said during Washington’s third preseason game, via Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post.  “Kirk Cousins has played much better at the quarterback position than Robert Griffin III has.  Now, Robert is learning to work out of a pocket.  He doesn’t look as smooth or as comfortable throwing the football.  I mean, your eyes will tell you everything you need to know.

“It’s going to be a decision that Jay Gruden is going to have to make.  Right now, Robert Griffin III is his quarterback. Now, if there was a quarterback competition, it wouldn’t be a competition. Kirk Cousins would be the man I believe he would have to go to, because of the efficiency with which he has run [the offense]. Now Kirk, like I said, is basically a drop-back quarterback. I see Andy Dalton in Cincinnati, I see Kirk Cousins that way.”

Per Steinberg, Theismann later revisited the topic during the game.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of conversation after this football game regarding the quarterback position,” Theismann said.  “You can’t avoid it.  Your eyes don’t lie to you.  Robert has struggled in the limited opportunities that he has had.  And Kirk Cousins has seized the opportunities that he has had when it comes to playing the position and understanding the offense.”

Given a chance to revisit the topic again during Tuesday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show, Theismann did a complete and total about-face.  And then acted like he didn’t.

“Who gives this team a better chance of winning for the entire season?” Dan Patrick asked.

I would say Robert does,” Theismann said.

Wait, what?

“The element that we haven’t seen in preseason and the element that Robert brings is like Colin Kaepernick, is like Cam Newton.  They have incredible ability — and Russell Wilson — to make plays with their legs that nobody else has.  If you look at the 20 throws that Robert has made, most of it has been out of the pocket, which is a learning process for him.  I’m sure that — and Jay has said this — he’s never had an athlete like Robert.  So what’s gonna have to happen — and will happen, I’m sure — is this offense will morph into something that complements his skill set, as far as being able to break the pocket and get outside.  In the preseason, because of the way it’s been constructed, there’s no question.  Kirk has played and looked better.  Robert continues to work hard . . .  And I said it in the telecast, there’s no competition here.  Robert Griffin III is the starting quarterback.”

There’s no competition because the team doesn’t want one.  But during the game, before Theismann was perhaps talked to by someone who may decide not to renew his deal to work for the team in 2015 during the preseason or otherwise, Theismann’s point was that, if there were a competition, Cousins would be the guy.

“It’s going to be a decision that Jay Gruden is going to have to make,” Theismann said during the game.

Theismann didn’t say the offense will evolve or Griffin will get better or Griffin gives the team the better chance to win or any of the stuff that now tends to take the sting out of Theismann’s real-time, unfiltered comments.

He said Cousins would be the better option.  Period.

Chances are someone with the team told Joe to shut up about that.  Exclamation point.

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Tom Savage gaining ground on Texans backup job

Houston Texans v Denver Broncos Getty Images

Texans rookie quarterback Tom Savage opened some eyes Saturday night in Denver, and coach Bill O’Brien admitted that he had gained ground on Case Keenum for the right to be their backup.

O’Brien forgot to share that with Keenum, however.

I hadn’t heard that until you just told me,” Keenum said, via Dale Robertson of the Houston Chronicle. “But it’s not something that I pay attention to. I’m just trying to get better every day, work hard, and be the best quarterback in this offense that I can be.”

Considering the starter is journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick, the competition is not an insignificant one.
And with the draft pick Savage directing a sharp two-minute drill to lead the Texans back for a win against the Broncos, it’s natural to wonder if he can leapfrog the guy O’Brien inherited and didn’t pick.

“We’re pulling for each other,” Keenum said. “We’re all on the same team here. To see him lead the team down there in the two-minute drive, that was awesome. We were all going pretty crazy on the sideline. Preseason or not, we all wanted to win that game. Tom did a great job of leading those guys down the field, getting in the end zone, and converting the two points.”

If the fourth-rounder can put on another solid display Thursday, he has a chance to end up a a play away from the field for the Texans. And with a roster that’s stacked on defense and missing that one key component on offense, that likely means a chance to play before some of the quarterbacks who were chosen in the first round this year.

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Geoff Schwartz doesn’t need surgery on injured toe

New York Giants v New York Jets Getty Images

The Giants saw left guard Geoff Schwartz leave last Friday’s game against the Jets with a dislocated toe, leading to some worry that he’d miss a large chunk of his first season with the team.

It’s not clear when Schwartz will be able to return to the lineup, but he’s avoiding surgery for the moment. The Giants announced that Schwartz visited with Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte on Monday and Anderson determined that Schwartz should be in a walking boot for the next 7-10 days before starting the rehab process. Schwartz will then be evaluated on a week-to-week basis to determine when he can resume football activities.

“This is just a minor setback,” Schwartz said, via the team. “I plan on attacking the rehab program so I can get back on the field as soon as possible with my teammates and help us win games.”

Rookie Weston Richburg has replaced Schwartz at left guard, although the Giants may need to shuffle things up again if right guard Brandon Mosely isn’t back soon from a back injury.

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Gilbert platform advocates blowing up CBA, 18 games

Gilbert AP

Next March, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith will face re-election for the second time since getting this job.  This time around, Smith may be facing an opponent.

Former NFL defensive lineman Sean Gilbert has announced his intention to run for the job.  Later this morning, Gilbert will conduct a media conference call discussing his candidacy, along with his platform.

PFT has obtained a copy of Gilbert’s platform, which consists of 23 total points.

The first — and arguably most notable — point reiterates Gilbert’s desire to pursue termination of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, via the anti-collusion provisions of the labor deal.

The goal, as we understand it, won’t be to strike, but to get the NFL back to the bargaining table with the goal of improving the current contract.  Of course, if there’s no labor deal there will be a chance the league will lock out the players, again.  But if there’s a work stoppage, it won’t happen due to a strike.

Gilbert also advocates a $1 million minimum player salary, a reduction in dues from $15,000 to $10,000, three-year rookie deals, free agency after three years, permissible renegotiation after only one year (with Russell Wilson specifically mentioned as an example), a one-time career limitation on the use of the franchise tag, elimination of the transition tag, removal of two preseason games, elimination of compensatory draft picks, increase of roster size from 53 to 57 (with an 11-player practice squad), increase in the practice-squad salary to $20,000 per week, elimination of “contract splits,” elimination of certain exclusions from “all revenue,” such as Cowboys merchandising and Jets/Giants PSL fees, and restriction of the Commissioner’s judge-jury-executioner power.

Gilbert also extends a major carrot to the league, proposing an 18-game regular season and a shifting of the Super Bowl to President’s Day Weekend.

While the election won’t happen until March, the election will be largely won or lost in the coming weeks.  Since the team-by-team player representatives ultimately vote on the executive director, the ability of Smith, Gilbert, or any other candidate to successfully place 17 of their supporters in those positions for 2014-15 will eventually deliver the election.

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Jimmy Graham says you can’t have fun in the NFL anymore

dunk AP

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham says his two penalties and his $30,000 fine for dunking the ball over the goal post show a problem facing the NFL.

Graham called the fine too “steep” and said “you can’t really have fun anymore.”

The point Graham raises is one many players and fans have raised through the years, as the NFL has cracked down on celebrations that are choreographed, celebrations involving props, celebrations that involve a player going to the ground, and so on. NFL, the critics say, stands for No Fun League.

It’s worth remembering, however, that this rule is in place because Graham knocked a goal post off-kilter while dunking last year in Atlanta, causing a lengthy delay. That dunk may have been fun for Graham, but it wasn’t very fun for the fans to sit around waiting for the game to re-start.

Perhaps a better celebration rule would be based on whether or not it delays the game. If you dunk a ball over a goal post, that’s OK. If you dunk a ball over a goal post and move the goal post in the process, causing the game to be disrupted, that’s a penalty and a fine. The same could be done for other celebrations: If a player scores a touchdown, tosses the ball to the official and then does a dance with his teammates in the end zone, it should only be a penalty if the officials have to wait until the players are done dancing to spot the ball for the extra point.

There’s some truth to Graham’s criticism of the NFL. But it’s also true that Graham brought this rule upon himself.

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Raiders putting D.J. Hayden on the PUP list because of foot

DJ Hayden AP

Many were worried about the near-fatal heart injury when the Raiders drafted cornerback D.J. Hayden in the first round last year.

But it’s another problem that’s going to cost him the start of this year.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Raiders are going to put Hayden on the physically unable to perform list because of a foot injury that has kept him out of camp.

The Raiders were hoping to get him well before the end of the preseason, but obviously his recovery from surgery to repair a stress fracture is sufficiently slow that they’re going to sit him the first six weeks of the regular season.

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Bills release QB Thad Lewis

Thad Lewis AP

The Bills have further pared their QB ranks.

The club has released Thad Lewis, PFT’s Mike Florio reported Tuesday. Lewis was competing for the top reserve role behind starting quarterback EJ Manuel.

The Bills have not been happy with the play of their backup passers. On Monday, they added ex-Bears quarterback Jordan Palmer and released Dennis Dixon.

The 26-year-old Lewis has completed 17-of-33 passes for 168 yards with two interceptions and no TDs in exhibition play. He has been sacked three times.

The departure of Lewis leaves Manuel, Palmer and Jeff Tuel as Buffalo’s quarterbacks. The Bills host the Lions on Thursday evening.

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