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Ray Farmer says he never offered Titans anything for No. 2

Ray Farmer AP

General Managers who fail to make deals in the draft have no incentive to admit that in the aftermath, lest they look foolish or incapable of finishing.

Either that, or they never tried, and you have to decide which one you believe.

So for all the connection before the 2015 NFL Draft, Browns G.M. Ray Farmer denied having made any attempt to get the second pick and quarterback Marcus Mariota off the Titans’ hands.

No, no, no,” Farmer said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Again, I’ve tried to tell people without telling them specifically, but the answer is no. There were no conversations of trading.”

Browns coach Mike Pettine then piped in with: “I didn’t either.”

“We were content to hold our water knowing what was going to come our way,” Farmer said, referring to using the 12th and 19th pick on nose tackle Danny Shelton and offensive lineman Cameron Erving.

Those kind of picks aren’t nearly as interesting as moving up to draft a quarterback. But considering the way it’s worked out the last few times the Browns tried it, they may be better off.

So whether they attempted to move up or not, the angel on their left shoulder must have been louder than the devil (or the homeless guy) on their right.

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John Dorsey: Marcus Peters isn’t a risky pick

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When the Chiefs picked Marcus Peters with the 18th pick of the first round on Thursday night, there weren’t many people arguing that they took a player who wasn’t talented enough to justify such a lofty position in the draft.

There were those who wondered if Peters’s non-playing issues made him too much of a risk at that spot, however. Peters had a string of behavioral issues at Washington, culminating in his dismissal from the team last year, but Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey said Thursday night that he doesn’t consider Peters to be a risky pick.

Dorsey explained the team did “extensive research” into Peters, including sending director of player personnel Chris Ballard to visit with him earlier this week, and that they feel they have the right kind of organization to handle someone who is “not a malicious kid.”

“I think he will be fine. I really do. I think he will be fine,” Dorsey said. “What we have is a unique locker room. In this year three, this locker room that we have here, we have some strength in this locker room, especially the defensive side of the ball. That’s what good teams do, they take those veteran leaders and they tell the young guys, ‘Ok guys, here is where the bar is set, come reach with us.’ Then you have a Hall of Famer, an All-Pro as your teachers. Then you have Bob Sutton and on top of that you have a leader like Andy Reid, who is no nonsense, very matter of fact. No problem at all.”

Dorsey’s not expecting any problems on the field, either. He said one “very famous” defensive coordinator told him that Peters was the best defensive back to enter the league in the last four years, which does plenty to explain why Dorsey would make the pick even if he did think there was some risk involved.

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Peterson’s agent shifts gears, wants Vikings to show him the money

Adrian Peterson AP

Adrian Peterson’s agent is no longer saying he wants out of Minnesota. He’s now saying he wants more money to stay in Minnesota.

Ben Dogra, who has previously said it’s not in Peterson’s best interest to stay with the Vikings, now says that he understands the Vikings will not get rid of Peterson.

“One of the things that I appreciate with the Vikings is their resolve to say ‘we’re not trading him,'” Dogra told USA Today. “That tells me they value him not only as a football player, but what he’s done for the organization. I actually, as an agent, not only appreciate it — I accept it. But actions speak louder than words. If that’s going to happen, and you want to keep him, then show him a commitment to make him retire as a Viking. And I haven’t had that solution.”

When an agent says he wants a team to show a player a commitment, what he means is that he wants the team to show him the money. But the Vikings are already scheduled to pay Peterson $46 million over the next three years, making him the highest-paid running back in the NFL. It’s just not realistic to think the Vikings will give Peterson a raise, and it’s hard to see any reason the Vikings should agree to guarantee that money.

Instead, the Vikings will tell Peterson that he needs to play under his current contract. Dogra now seems to be acknowledging that Peterson will do that.

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Jameis Winston deletes crab-leg photo

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Many gave Jameis Winston a restrained round of applause for the self-awareness displayed as he posed in Buccaneers gear with a plate of crab legs.  But not everyone feels that way about the gesture.

Perhaps starting with the woman in the background of the photo, whose face has an expression that suggests, “Is he really doing this?”

The Buccaneers and/or Winston’s lawyers may have been thinking the same thing.  And someone has apparently persuaded Winston that it wasn’t the smartest thing to do.  Via, the photo has now been deleted.

If Winston’s only off-field blemish arose from his saunter through the front door of the official grocery store of the Buccaneers with a box of appendages that usually move sideways, it would have been fine.   But Winston has too many issues.  And that many issues begin to intertwine.  And one of those issues is a lingering sexual-assault allegation that has become a civil lawsuit that isn’t going to disappear simply because he’s now in the NFL.

So when Winston pokes fun at the crab-leg caper specifically he’s poking fun at his off-field issues generally.  Which means he’s poking fun indirectly at a pending claim of sexual assault that will be the opposite of fun once he ends up under oath and on video trying to talk his way around questions from a lawyer who has spent years dealing with people who thought they could charm their way out of any problem.

It may not go as poorly as Justin Bieber’s deposition, but there’s a chance that Winston’s inevitable question-and-answer session won’t go as well as he’ll think it’s going.  And one of the devices that Erica Kinsman’s lawyers will use to get under Winston’s skin will be the photo of Jameis with a Buccaneers jersey on his back, a Buccaneers hat on his head, and a plate of crab legs in his hands.

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Goodell calls draft in Chicago “a great decision”

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league is pleased with the results after moving the draft out of New York and into Chicago.

“We loved it,” Goodell said on Mike & Mike. “This was a great decision for us. It was a chance for us to reinvent the draft and the fans turned out, the city did a great job for us, and we’re excited for the next couple days. It’s really been terrific for us.”

There’s been some talk that the top two picks, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, stayed home because they don’t view Chicago as a marquee location like New York City, but Goodell said he doesn’t think that’s the case.

“They had their own personal reasons for it — they both had personal reasons to be with their family,” Goodell said. “The guys who were here had a blast. We’ve spent a lot of time here with them over the last couple days and they’ve loved the city. They’ve loved the experience.”

Goodell stressed that the league was pleased not just with the draft itself at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, but also with the large outdoor Draft Town in Grant Park, which the league said drew 50,000 fans yesterday. Goodell said the location of the 2016 NFL draft won’t be determined for at least a few weeks, but he said Chicago has shown it’s a good host.

“It clearly has already met a new level of success for us and it’s because of the city of Chicago,” Goodell said. “We had a lot of cities that were interested but we love what we were able to accomplish here.”

But for all of Goodell’s praise for Chicago, there’s a good chance the draft will go elsewhere next year. If a team moves to Los Angeles, it would make a lot of sense for the league to put the draft in L.A. as the first major event for the league’s return to the city. There’s also been talk of a venue with a lot of football history, like Green Bay or Canton, Ohio, being a draft host. So even though Chicago has proven itself to be a good host, it may not remain the host.

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Thomas Dimitroff says he didn’t give “a second thought” to trading for Bruce Irvin

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After news broke that the Seahawks were not planning to exercise their fifth-year option on linebacker Bruce Irvin’s contract, Mike Florio reported that there was chatter about a trade that would send Irvin to Atlanta for a reunion with Falcons coach and former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

On Friday, Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff was asked about that possibility during an appearance on 92.9 The Game.

“He’s under contract,” Dimitroff said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I didn’t give it a second thought.”

The fact that Irvin’s under contract is a good reason for Dimitroff not to discuss acquiring him, but every player in the league that has ever been traded has been under contract so it’s hardly reason not to give something a second thought. That’s not to say that Dimitroff or anyone else with the club is considering a deal, but it’s not something that would have likely gone down on Thursday since the Falcons weren’t going to trade the eighth pick for that return.

They wound up using the pick on Clemson’s Vic Beasley, a pass rusher who is likely ticketed to the “Leo” role on the defensive front. His arrival doesn’t preclude a move for Irvin, who would presumably remain at outside linebacker in Quinn’s scheme, but it doesn’t make it any likelier that the 2012 first-round pick will be relocating from Seattle to Atlanta either.

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Trent Baalke: Arik Armstead pick not a hedge against Justin Smith’s possible retirement

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The 49ers have been waiting all offseason to hear from veteran defensive end Justin Smith about his plans for playing in the 2015 season and they insisted in recent days and weeks that the uncertainty would not play a big role in their own plans for the draft.

Then they wound up trading down two spots before selecting defensive end Arik Armstead, which predictably led to questions for General Manager Trent Baalke about whether Smith’s situation played any role in their decision.

“We gave Justin liberty and I said this to many of you the last time we met,” Baalke said. “We gave Justin liberty to make his own decision on his time frame. So we went into the draft not thinking about what decision Justin’s going to make or not going to make. We just went in to find the best football player, the best system fit we could at pick 15. It just so happened we traded back and its pick 17.”

In some instances, it would strain believability to say there was no relation between taking a defensive end while another one considers retirement but Armstead isn’t the most typical prospect. The 6-foot-7, 290-pounder was a basketball player before making the full-time move to football and both Baalke and coach Jim Tomsula talked about the need for him to continue to develop his skills after making an early jump to the NFL.

A perfect world would see him doing that behind a pair of veterans in Smith and Darnell Dockett before moving into a larger role come 2016, but it remains to be seen if the 49ers reside in such a utopia.

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Eagles made big offer to Bucs

Kelly AP

As the Eagles try to process the fallout from a failed effort to move up for Marcus Marioto, some additional facts are trickling in regarding the specific pieces coach Chip Kelly dangled to make the move up from No. 20.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Eagles offered the following to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the first pick in the draft:  the 20th pick in this year’s draft; Philly’s first-round pick in 2016; quarterback Sam Bradford; and another player on the roster.

It’s unclear who the other player would have been.  Possibly linebacker Mychal Kendricks.  Possibly Lane Johnson or Fletcher Cox, but the Eagles were expressing reluctance to include either of those pieces.

It’s unknown whether that same offer was made to the Titans, who held the No. 2 pick and ultimately used it on Mariota.  It’s reasonable to assume something similar to that was placed on the table.

This information comes at a time when the Eagles are in full-blown backpedal mode, for a couple of obvious reasons.  First, they need to find a way to mend fences with Bradford, who undoubtedly realizes that he was nearly re-traded.  Second, the next distraction for Kelly and the Eagles (and the Titans) will be the inevitable speculation — which already has begun in some league circles — that Kelly is destined to eventually become the coach of the Titans.

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Andy Reid helped cost the Eagles another one last week

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The guy Chip Kelly replaced as the coach of the Eagles might have helped cost him the guy he wanted most in this draft.

According to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, a conversation between Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt and Chiefs coach Andy Reid last week helped convince Whisenhunt to hold onto the second pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and take Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Reid told Whisenhunt about the 1999 draft, when Mike Ditka was running the Saints (into the ground), and offered his entire draft so he could take running back Ricky Williams. Reid’s Eagles said no thanks, used their pick on Donovan McNabb, and were set at quarterback for a decade.

The chance at that kind of stability at the position was the key for Reid in his first year as head coach.

“I was talking to Andy today,’’ Whisenhunt told King. “He told me the story about Ditka offering a whole draft for his pick. I understood what Andy was saying. It certainly helped solidify what I was thinking—that’s for sure.”

So while it’s not exactly Reid’s fault that Kelly’s plan to build an all-Duck army of kung fu killers was spoiled, the former Eagles coach might not have helped.

Granted, the Titans should have known taking a near-sure thing at quarterback was the right call without affirmation, but hearing it from someone else might have solidified the wisdom of it.

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Bradford gains upper hand in Philly

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After the Eagles swung a deal for quarterback Sam Bradford, coach Chip Kelly insisted that the first overall pick in the 2010 draft wasn’t a stepping stone for a deal to get Marcus Mariota.

And then Bradford became one.

Despite any current denials from the man who previously denied that he’d attempt to trade up to get Mariota, the fact remains that the Eagles left Bradford dangling for weeks as they plotted a path to the top of the draft. If they’d gotten Mariota, they wouldn’t have needed Bradford.  Now that they didn’t, they do.

It gives Bradford the upper hand in contract talks that stalled once Bradford, we’re told, sought assurances that his new contract wouldn’t be used as bait for a team like the Browns, who likely would have been more inclined to give up the No. 12 pick if Bradford were signed, say, through 2017 instead of 2015.  The Eagles now have no other viable options at starter, so they need Bradford — especially since they want to knock down his cap number of $12.985 million this year.

A former Eagles quarterback once needed a “financial apology” after being benched for half of a game in 2008.  The current Eagles quarterback may now want one after being hung out to dry for a lot longer than that.

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Panthers want to keep Thomas Davis, even with Shaq Thompson pick

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The comparisons between Thomas Davis and Shaq Thompson are as easy as they are appropriate, and the fact the Panthers linebacker was in Chicago last night to announce the selection of his eventual replacement was interesting.

But the Panthers want to make sure you know the “eventual” part of that sentence is the key.

Despite drafting a Davis clone, Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman said using the 25th pick that way was not an indictment of Davis’ future, at a time when he’s looking for a contract extension.

“Absolutely not,” Gettleman replied. “Doesn’t change a thing.”

The Panthers envision using Thompson (who played safety and running back at Washington) as an every down linebacker, which gives them a potential track team with Davis and Luke Kuechly.

“He’s going to allow us to put three very fast linebackers on the field,” Gettleman said. “I think he’s going to be a great fit with Thomas and Luke.

“He gives us match-up abilities that we don’t have. There’s some different things we can do with him and we think he’s going to be a terrific fit.”

The fact he’s played safety gives them the ability to use him in sub packages as well, but coach Ron Rivera stressed that being able to keep three linebackers on the field when teams went into 12 personnel (a back and two tight ends) would help against targets such as Jimmy Graham (who isn’t in the division any more).

But the juxtaposition of past and future for what could be the short-term present was still interesting for the Panthers in making the choice.

“There’s a lot of characteristics they share,” Rivera said of Thompson. “But there is only one Thomas Davis.”

Now it’s just a matter of how long they keep him, and use him and his young clone together.

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Friday morning one-liners

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The Bills didn’t kill time on Thursday night by reshuffling their draft board.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is excited about the addition of WR DeVante Parker.

Undrafted members of the Patriots know that getting picked early isn’t the only way to carve out an NFL career.

The Jets may have gotten the best defensive player in the draft, but they still need a quarterback.

WR Breshad Perriman thinks it will be “amazing” to catch passes from Ravens QB Joe Flacco.

Wide receivers top this list of players to watch for the Bengals on the second day of the draft.

Browne OL Cameron Erving doesn’t know where he’ll line up, but plans to “dominate” whoever lines up across from him.

The Steelers are expected to address cornerback after taking LB Bud Dupree in the first round.

CB Kevin Johnson said it would be “awesome” to play for the Texans shortly before the Texans picked him with the 16th pick.

Some criticism of the Colts’ decision to pick WR Phillip Dorsett.

Dante Fowler wasn’t drafted because of his fashion sense, but the Jaguars first-rounder impressed on that front on Thursday night.

Said Titans General Manager Ruston Webster of QB Marcus Mariota, “Every minute we spent with him it just felt better and better.”

Broncos General Manager John Elway said calling OL Manny Ramirez to tell him about being traded to Detroit was “one of the hardest phone calls” he’s ever made.

The Chiefs were willing to take the risk of drafting CB Marcus Peters.

Expectations are already high for new Raiders WR Amari Cooper.

A few of the reasons why the Chargers moved up to get RB Melvin Gordon.

Ten things to know about new Cowboys CB Byron Jones.

Ereck Flowers appears set to begin his Giants career at right tackle.

A positive take on the Eagles staying put in the first round.

RB Alfred Morris deemed himself a “happy camper” after the Redskins took OL Brandon Scherff with their first pick.

WR Kevin White thought he would be picked by the Bears and he was proven correct.

The Lions liked the determination they saw from G Laken Tomlinson.

S Damarious Russell was surprised to learnr the Packers picked him on Thursday night.

Captain Munnerlyn was happy to see the Vikings add another cornerback in Trae Waynes.

The Falcons hope Vic Beasley is the answer to their pass rushing needs.

Shaq Thompson’s arrival leads to thoughts of a speedy linebacking group with the Panthers.

How much immediate help does T Andrus Peat provide the Saints?

The Buccaneers got their quarterback, so what’s next for them in the draft?

D.J. Humphries is the first tackle the Cardinals took in the first round since Levi Brown in 2007.

The Rams saw several offensive line options come off the board on Thursday night.

Which receivers and cornerbacks might interest the 49ers on Day Two of the draft?

The Seahawks didn’t have a first round pick, but they do have TE Jimmy Graham.

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Chargers were desperate to deal for an “impact player”

NFL Draft Football AP

In a first round with so few trades, the first one remains a bit of a head scratcher.

The Chargers made the first of just two deals last night, when they gave up their 2015 fourth-rounder and 2016 fifth-rounders to move up two spots with the 49ers so they could draft running back Melvin Gordon 15th overall.

Which is fine, as they obviously needed Gordon after losing Ryan Mathews in free agency. But that’s a steep price considering the 49ers obviously weren’t going to take him (or they would have), and the Texans, picking 16th, seemed unlikely to. Houston took Wake Forest cornerback Kevin Johnson, adding secondary help to what could be one of the league’s top defenses.

But Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco justified the decision by saying Gordon was the last of the seven “impact players” they had targeted in the 2015 NFL Draft, obviously afraid the Texans might have bailed out of their spot to someone wanting Gordon.

“He’s an exciting, electric football player,” Telesco said, via Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego. “We need him and more guys like that. … You don’t like to give away picks, but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to get an impact player. It’s a tough decision.”

The deal leaves the Chargers without its fourth- and seventh-rounders this weekend, giving them a league-low five total picks.

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Report: Zac Stacy responds to Todd Gurley pick with trade request

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The Rams surprised some people by drafting running back Todd Gurley with the 10th overall pick on Thursday night and there were a wide variety of responses to the move.

There were those who liked the upside, those who worried that Gurley’s knee might limit his effectiveness as a rookie and those that thought the Rams should have picked a wide receiver. And then there was Rams running back Zac Stacy, who took to Twitter with a heavy dose of self-awareness of what Gurley’s arrival means for him.

“Yikes,” Stacy wrote in a tweet that has since been deleted.

That reportedly wasn’t Stacy’s only response. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Stacy has requested a trade now that he’s part of a depth chart that also includes Tre Mason and Benny Cunningham. Schefter adds that the team is open to moving him, which could happen for a third day pick if a team thinks Stacy offers more than a member of this year’s draft class.

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Ryan Grigson on picking Phillip Dorsett: We took our best player available

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Coming into the draft, the general consensus about the Colts was that they needed to concentrate on improving the blocking in front of quarterback Andrew Luck and just about everything involved with the defense.

Naturally, they took wide receiver Phillip Dorsett with their first-round pick. He joins T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson, Donte Moncrief and Duron Carter at wideout for the Colts, which should assure Luck of plenty of targets when he drops back to pass. Assuming, of course, that he has time to deliver the ball.

“This just shows that we stick to our guns when it comes to taking our best player on our board,” Grigson said, via the Indianapolis Star. “It’s not just party talk.”

The Colts have eight picks left, one in each round until picking twice in the sixth and seventh rounds, and Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano indicated on Thursday night that they’d be used to plug more pressing needs for the team. If they’re not able to do that, questions about adding to a strength in the first round will likely dog Grigson throughout next season.

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