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Cordy Glenn gets $26.5 million fully guaranteed at signing

Justin Houston, Cordy Glenn AP

More than two months prior to the deadline for signing franchise-tagged players to long-term deals, the Bills and tackle Cordy Glenn converted his one-year franchise tender into a five-year contract.

Per a source with knowledge of the deal, Glenn receives $26.5 million fully guaranteed at signing, as part of a five-year, $65 million package. He’ll earn $19 million in the first year, and $30 million through year two.

The deal has another $9.5 million guaranteed for injury.

It’s the second highest full guarantee any offensive lineman has received, and it puts Glenn under contract with the Bills through 2020.

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Second Circuit grants NFLPA’s request for more time in Brady appeal

Green Bay Packers v New England Patriots Getty Images

The NFL Players Association wanted more time to decide whether to file a petition for rehearing regarding the outcome of the federal appeal that reinstated Tom Brady’s four-game suspension. The NFL opposed the request.

On Tuesday, the request was granted. As a result, the deadline has been extended from May 9 to May 23.

The union arguably didn’t need extra time to make a decision that, as a practical matter, could be made in a matter of minutes. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain by seeking a rehearing before the full Second Circuit.

The subtext seems to be that the NFL suspects the union is delaying the volleyball game in the hopes that a final outcome will come as late as possible, potentially keeping Brady on the field for all of the 2016 season. Still, two extra weeks really won’t change much in the grand scheme of things — especially since the NFL needed four full months to complete the initial investigation into the alleged tampering with football air pressure.

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Cordy Glenn, Bills agree to five-year extension

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 15:  Cordy Glenn of the Buffalo Bills presents his team's MVP award during the NFL Launch of the Play 60 scheme at the Black Prince Community Hub on July 15, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) Getty Images

Bills General Manager Doug Whaley said on Tuesday that the team was ready to get back to the negotiating table with several players they wanted to sign to contract extensions.

It didn’t take long for them to check off one of those boxes.

The agents for left tackle Cordy Glenn announced on Tuesday evening that their client has agreed to a five-year extension with the team. The Bills gave Glenn the franchise tag earlier this offseason — Glenn signed it shortly after — and had until July 15 to hammer out a multi-year deal.

Glenn was Buffalo’s second-round pick in the 2012 draft and he has started 57 straight games for the team. No financial details of the deal have come to light, but it’s a good bet that the Bills were able to lessen the $13.7 million cap hit they would have taken if Glenn played out the year under the tag.

Cornerback Stephon Gilmore and quarterback Tyrod Taylor are the other players that the Bills would like to extend.

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Don Shula hospitalized, released

Don Shula NFL Coach of the Year Award Press Conference Getty Images

Hall of Fame Coach Don Shula was released from a hospital Tuesday after receiving overnight treatment.

A statement released by the family said Shula, 86, was hospitalized due to fluid retention and sleep apnea and said the family “is looking for a speedy recovery.”

NFL Network confirmed that Shula was treated and released.

Shula is the NFL’s winningest coach. He won two Super Bowls with the Dolphins and guided them to a perfect record in 1972.

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997. His son, Mike, is the offensive coordinator of the Panthers.

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Jaguars rookies won’t be doing much on the field at minicamp

Jacksonville Jaguars first-round draft pick Dante Fowler is tended to after being injured at the teams NFL football minicamp in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday, May 8, 2015. (Fran Ruchalski/The Florida Times-Union via AP) AP

The Dolphins won’t be the only NFL team approaching rookie minicamp differently this year.

They won’t even be the only NFL team in Florida approaching it differently this year. The Jaguars are joining them in altering the process to cut back on drills and other on-field work while devoting more time to meetings at what they’re calling a “rookie orientation.”

Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell says that he’d thought about different ways to handle rookie minicamp in the past and that the torn ACL that first-round pick Dante Fowler suffered on the first day of camp last year made it a more pressing issue.

“It’s never really made a lot of common sense to me,” Caldwell said, via the Associated Press. ”You always just crossed your fingers and hoped for the best. I think this gave us good reason to do it. Never did you think it would be something that would be season-ending, but even the little stuff. If a guy pulls a hamstring, then all of a sudden he spends the next six weeks rehabbing instead of getting better, stronger and in shape.”

The Broncos lost third-round tight end Jeff Heuerman to a torn ACL last year and coach Gary Kubiak recently called full-speed practices at minicamp for players who haven’t been on the field in some time “probably not the smartest thing to do.” Another serious injury or two in this year’s camps may have the Dolphins and Jaguars at the forefront of a trend around the league as it comes to handling the first NFL exposure for their rookie class.

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Condon’s concern on Bradford: “There’s not really a competition”

Sam Bradford, Mario Addison AP

The most common response to the effort by Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford to get out of Philly after signing a two-year, $35 million contract has been to say that Bradford should simple embrace the opportunity to compete. Indeed, former NFL quarterback Brady Quinn (who was represented during his playing days by Bradford’s agent, Tom Condon) explained last week on PFT Live that Bradford simply isn’t accustomed to having to compete.

Condon has addressed the notion that Bradford should simply compete and, if successful, keep Carson Wentz on the bench. Condon explained on The Business of Sports with Andrew Brandt that the circumstances suggest that the deck is stacked in favor of Wentz.

“There’s not really a competition,” Condon said. “You’re holding the card until you’re replaced, and as far as the club is concerned, and I would guess the fans, the sooner, the better.”

Condon has a point. The last time the Eagles took a quarterback in round one, current coach Doug Pederson was the starting quarterback. He started nine games before yielding to then-rookie Donovan McNabb.

Rookie quarterbacks routinely are installed at the bottom of the depth chart, giving them a chance to accomplish something by working their way up the ladder — regardless of whether they objectively deserve to be elevated from No. 3 to No. 2 to, eventually, No. 1. The bigger the investment, the sooner the player ends up on the field.

“I know people say, ‘Well, why doesn’t he just compete and win the job?'” Condon said. “There is no real competition. If you’ve given up the draft choices [to trade up] and he’s the second pick in the draft, he’s playing. That’s all there is to it.

Condon reiterated that Bradford will continue to stay away in the hopes of having a chance to get to a team that wants him. Will Bradford offer to pay back any of his $11 million signing bonus to make that happen?

“I think I better hold off on any questions with regard to the cash,” Condon said.

Buried in that non-answer could be a message to the Eagles that perhaps Bradford would be willing to, for example, sacrifice all or part of the second installment of $5.5 million. (The first half already has been paid.)

Still, it’s one thing for the Eagles to eventually decide to move on from Bradford. It’s another for a different team to want him. Barring a season-ending injury to an entrenched starter, Bradford may not find another NFL team that is willing to give him the keys for, at a minimum, all of the 2016 season.

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Bears’ Lamarr Houston says Aaron Rodgers’ championship belt gets on his nerves

rodgersbelt Getty Images

Bears linebacker Lamarr Houston is spicing up the offseason with a little trash talk aimed at Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Asked about Rodgers on ESPN today, Houston acknowledged he’s a good player but said he doesn’t like him as a person and especially doesn’t like his attitude, exemplified by his trademark celebration of pretending to put a championship belt around his waist.

He’s a little arrogant for me. He’s a little too arrogant,” Houston said. “He’s a cheesehead. I’m a Bear. He’s a cheesehead. But I have a lot of respect for his game, I will say that. He’s a great quarterback. As a player, I have a lot of respect for him but the whole championship belt thing kind of gets on my nerves.”

Houston might not be the best one to talk about the way other players celebrate, considering that he once suffered a season-ending knee injury while celebrating a sack late in the fourth quarter of a blowout loss. But Houston has taken shots at Rodgers before, most notably after the Bears beat the Packers on Thanksgiving, when Houston sacked Rodgers during the game and said afterward, “I really don’t like that guy.”

Rodgers may have just a little more motivation to unleash the championship belt when the Bears meet the Packers next, on October 20.

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Report: Terron Armstead signing five-year extension with Saints

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15: Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints passes while tackle Terron Armstead #72 of the New Orleans Saints blocks against the Washington Redskins in the third quarter at FedExField on November 15, 2015 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Saints and quarterback Drew Brees haven’t come to an agreement on a much-discussed contract extension this offseason, but it appears the team has had more luck with one of the players charged with keeping Brees upright.

Josina Anderson of ESPN reports that left tackle Terron Armstead is signing a five-year extension with the Saints on Tuesday. The deal would tie Armstead to the Saints through the 2021 season.

Armstead was a third-round pick in 2013 and has started 27 games over the last two seasons after taking over the job at left tackle late in his rookie season. He’s proven to be an asset to both the running and passing games and won’t turn 25 until July, which gives him a good chance to remain productive through the life of this new contract as long as he can avoid serious injuries.

With Armstead locked up, Brees and center Max Unger would be the biggest potential free agents for the Saints after the 2016 season.

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The annual PFT draft grades

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Once the draft ends, folks throughout the media apply grades to the picks that were made. Because why? Because click. Click. Click.

It’s a waste of time to write them, and it’s a waste of time to read them. No one knows what any player is going to do at the NFL level until the player gets on the field. In the absence of a crystal ball or a time machine, the grades applied by a given member of the media will reflect the extent to which the team did what the media member would have done with the various picks.

Ultimately, draft grades try to make something that is inherently subjective seem objective, with no way of determining whether the assessment is right or wrong until three or four years have passed. By then, however, no one cares enough to go back and sift through careers compiled by the various picks, compare them among the 32 teams, and devise a fair system for dispensing a representative amount of A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, and F’s.

There’s only one reliable grading process. As noted by MDS, the decision to exercise or not exercise the fifth-year option provides a simple pass/fail assessment, three years later. By then, however, there’s no appetite for grading draft picks from three years earlier.

That’s the weird irony of the draft. No one really knows enough after it ends to apply a reliable grade. By the time that knowledge is available, no one really cares.

So here are the official PFT draft grades, for the 2016 draft and every draft to come: Incomplete. After that, it’s  time to sit back and wait to see which teams shoot their eyes out.

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Fifth-year options show everyone’s guessing in the NFL draft

Minnesota Vikings v Miami Dolphins Getty Images

In the days following the NFL draft, we’re inundated with draft report cards who are certain they know which team deserves an ‘A’ and which team deserves an ‘F.’

Here’s the truth: No one knows anything.

For proof of that, look no further than the fifth-year options on the contracts of first-round picks. Those are the options that teams chose this week whether or not to pick up on their 2013 first-round picks, and they basically tell us whether or not the draft pick worked out.

As it turned out, players in the 2013 draft had basically a 50-50 chance of working out: Of the 32 players taken in the first round, 17 had their fifth-year options picked up, 12 had their options declined, one has already been cut, one has already agreed to a new contract and one is currently suspended and has no option to pick up.

The Top 10 of the draft was a little worse than the next 22; five of the top 10 picks didn’t have their options picked up, and Dion Jordan, the third overall pick, is suspended.

NFL teams, which spend several months and millions of dollars evaluating players, just can’t consistently say which college players will pan out and which ones will bust. The rest of us can’t, either. The draft is a lot of fun, but it’s a crap shoot.

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Raiders tight end Clive Walford injures knee in ATV crash

Clive Walford, Jimmy Wilson AP

The injury news seemingly never stops in the NFL, but in the offseason, the injuries become more unusual.

According to Mike Garafolo and Peter Schrager of FOX Sports, Raiders tight end Clive Walford suffered a knee injury in an ATV crash and will miss spring practices.

The hope is that Walford will be back on the field by training camp, with one source saying the injury “may not be as bad as originally thought.”

Walford has already had surgery to repair the damage, but word of his condition has been kept under wraps.

The third-round pick from Miami caught 27 passes last year for 329 yards and three touchdowns, showing signs he could be a downfield threat. How this impacts those plans remains to be seen, and probably means that any interest they had in moving tight end Mychal Rivera is over, at least until they know how Walford is and when he’ll be back.

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Browns say every QB on the roster is competing to start

Josh McCown AP

No one in Cleveland is promised the starting quarterback position, and no one is ruled out.

That’s the word from Browns head of football operations Sashi Brown, who said this morning on PFT Live that third-round draft pick Cody Kessler will compete with Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown, Austin Davis and Connor Shaw.

“We’ve got four guys here who are going to have an opportunity to try to lead this team from the quarterback position: Josh, Robert, Austin and Connor, and Cody obviously comes now into the mix and we feel like we want to play the guy who gives us the best chance to win,” Brown said.

Most people assume Griffin will emerge as the winner of the competition, but that’s only the case if Griffin proves he’s the best of the bunch.

“There’s no question with the investment in Robert, we absolutely feel like he has the opportunity to become the starting quarterback,” Brown said. “There’s still a competition there, and we haven’t named a starter yet, and Cody will get into that mix.”

The decision will be coach Hue Jackson’s, and the head coach has made clear that he will give the rookie every opportunity to prove he can play.

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Myles Jack: “Humiliating” draft slide is “all motivation” for future

PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 28:  Myles Jack #30 of the UCLA Bruins reacts after a UCLA interception on a fake punt against the USC Trojans at Rose Bowl on November 28, 2014 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

Among the reasons that people have high hopes for the Jaguars in the coming season is the fact that they came away with cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Myles Jack in the first two rounds of the draft.

The Jaguars were thrilled to get Jack in the second round and Jack calls it a “dream come true” to play on the same team with Ramsey, but the way he wound up in Jacksonville was less than ideal. Jack was projected to be one of the first players picked in this year’s draft, but negative reports about the long-term health of his knee helped keep him on the board much longer than expected.

During an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, Jack called it “kinda sour” that the medical information went public before the draft and it sounds like sour would be an understatement to describe how Jack felt during a slide no one prepared him for last Thursday night.

“It was, honestly, humiliating,” Jack said. “It was embarrassing having to sit there, and afterwards walking out, having my girl to my left, my mom to my right, my grandmother to the right of her and having to look at them, it was a tough feeling. It wasn’t a good night, truthfully.”

Jack, who said his knee is 100 percent right now, pointed to Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski as a player who wound up in the second round because of health questions before putting the doubts to rest on the field and said the decision by teams to pass on him is “all motivation” for 2016 and beyond. If that motivation fuels the kind of pro success most people predicted for Jack during his college career, he’ll join Gronkowski as a reason for teams to think a little harder about the risk/reward ratio involved with drafting talented players with injury concerns.

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Final count: 12 first-round picks from ’13 have fifth-year options declined

Jacksonville Jaguars v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

The decisions are in, and 12 first-round picks from 2013 did not have their fifth-year contract options picked up by the teams that drafted them.

The deadline for such decisions was Monday. Some were of the last-minute variety, though it’s possible some teams just held off on announcements until Monday.

PFT tracked them all here.

There were slam-dunk option decisions — those for Tyler Eifert, Kyle Long and DeAndre Hopkins come to mind — and some close calls. We didn’t find out until Monday that the Chiefs picked up 2013 No. 1 pick Eric Fisher’s option, or that the Jaguars declined to pick up the option on the No. 2 pick from 2013, Luke Joeckel.

Those players whose options were picked up now have their 2017 salaries guaranteed for injury, although they can still be released next year if they are healthy. Those whose options weren’t exercised can be free agents following the 2016 season.

Among the decisions either not made until Monday or only released by various sources and reports, the Ravens declining the option on safety Matt Elam, the Raiders declining the option on cornerback D.J. Hayden and the Packers declining the option on outside linebacker Datone Jones were among the easiest.

Some of the players whose options were declined could still end up signing new deals with their current teams, as 2012 first-rounder Doug Martin did in March following a big season with the Buccaneers. Among this group, Lane Johnson had previously signed a long-term deal with the Eagles, while a Dion Jordan decision is still a year away for the Dolphins due to his suspension.

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Steelers decline fifth-year option on Jarvis Jones

New York Giants v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

The Steelers have declined to pick up the fifth-year option on outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, per multiple reports.

The deadline for picking up the options on 2013 first-round picks is midnight Monday. If the Steelers were debating the option or potentially negotiating a long-term deal with Jones is unclear.

The option would have paid Jones $8.4 million in 2017, so the Steelers declining it makes financial sense.

The two sides can still negotiate a long-term deal. His rookie contract will now expire following the 2016 season.

Jones started 15 games in 2015 and had his best season, recording two sacks, a forced fumble and an interception. He has started 26 of 36 career games and has just five sacks in three seasons.

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