Brian Hoyer willing to help Mac Jones but doesn’t see himself as de facto coach


The Patriots may have signed Brian Hoyer to help Mac Jones‘ development, but that’s not how he sees his role. The veteran quarterback made clear Monday that he is in New England to compete for a job, not to serve as a quarterbacks coach for the first-round draft choice.

Hoyer is willing to be an open book for Jones, but Jones first will have to ask.

“I mean, I’m not the quarterback coach, so that’s not really my responsibility,” Hoyer said, via Zack Cox of NESN. “I think if anything, I notice him coming and asking me a lot of questions for me to give my feedback. I remember doing the same thing with [Jarrett] Stidham, what was that, three years ago now. Or Danny Etling the year before that.

“I mean, for me, whether it’s Mac, Jarrett, Cam [Newton] — Cam asked me a question today about something — that’s my responsibility, being the most experienced quarterback in that room, is to kind of share that wealth of knowledge and then go from there.”

The Patriots re-signed Hoyer after drafting Jones. Hoyer, 35, has spent all or parts of six of his 12 seasons in New England, so he has more knowledge of the offense than the other quarterbacks combined.

Still, Hoyer doesn’t view himself as a de facto coach.

“Obviously, I’m the most experienced of the group in this offense and on this team, so to impart that knowledge is obviously a big part of my role here, but also to go out and compete and push those guys every day,” Hoyer said. “So it’s been fun, obviously, to get back with Cam and Stid and then bring Mac along and get to know him. He’s a great kid, and he’s working really hard.”

Report: Kellen Mond close to signing his rookie deal with Vikings

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The Vikings are close to signing rookie quarterback Kellen Mond, Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press reports.

Mond will get a three-year, $5.223 million deal, including a signing bonus of $1.158 million, per Tomasson, and the third-round choice will count $949,712 against the 2021 salary cap.

The Vikings have signed seven of their 11 draft choices, with only third-rounders Mond, Chazz Surratt, Wyatt Davis and Patrick Jones remaining unsigned.

Mond threw for 2,282 yards with 19 touchdowns and three interceptions in 10 games for Texas A&M last season. During his career with the Aggies under Jimbo Fisher, Mond threw for 9,661 yards and 71 touchdowns.

Kirk Cousins promises to be an “open book” for Kellen Mond


Kirk Cousins remains the starter in Minnesota, but for the first time since he arrived in 2018, the Vikings have a potential replacement behind him.

Cousins appears unbothered by the Vikings’ third-round selection of Kellen Mond. It surely helped that the team kept the starting quarterback in the loop about its plans.

“There was good communication through the process, and Kellen’s been great, working hard and picking up our offense quickly,” Cousins said Wednesday in his first comments since Mond joined the team, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “So, it’s been a good process.”

Cousins vows to help Mond, something Rex Grossman did for him in Washington in 2012. Cousins previously has done the same for Nate Stanley and Jake Browning, though neither was going to take Cousins’ job. Mond one day could.

“You’re an open book,” Cousins said. “You’re helpful, and you’re there and make yourself available.

“It was great to be able to learn from [Grossman], and he was a big part of my early development as a football player. I really took every word he said to heart because I felt he’d been there, done that and he should know what it looked like. I hung on his every word. I’ve been there and want to certainly be that same resource whenever possible.”

Cousins’ contract runs through 2022, and he has a $45 million cap number for the last season of his deal. The Vikings then will have a decision to make about Cousins’ future, if not sooner.

Cousins’ future surely depends on what the team does as he has led the Vikings to one playoff appearance and a 1-1 postseason record in three seasons. For now, though, the Vikings are Cousins’ team.

The plan is for Mond to redshirt his rookie season. Cousins played three games with one start as a rookie backup to rookie Robert Griffin III in Washington in 2012.

“The big piece right now, and I lived it back in 2012, is just being able to take in the volume of offense that’s thrown at you,” Cousins said. “The terminology is likely new, the plays at times are likely new.”

Cardinals sign Zaven Collins

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The Cardinals have signed first-round draft choice Zaven Collins, the team announced Tuesday night.

His signing leaves only second-round choice Rondale Moore unsigned. Fourth-round choice Marco Wilson, sixth-round choice Victor Dimukeje, sixth-round choice Tay Gowan, seventh round choice James Wiggins and seventh-round choice Michal Menet previously signed their four-year rookie deals.

Collins will earn $14.7 million and an $8 million signing bonus on his four-year deal, with the Cardinals holding a fifth-year option for 2025.

It’s special,” Collins said, via Darren Urban of the team website. “You know it’s coming, but until it’s here, you don’t know how you’re going to feel. It’s still a big milestone.”

Collins was a three-year starter at Tulsa. He had 236 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and three interceptions while playing 32 games.

Collins was a consensus All-American in 2020 and won the Lombardi Award, Bronko Nagurski trophy, and Chuck Bednarik Award.

The Cardinals made him the 16th overall choice.

Rams sign fourth-round choice Robert Rochell

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The Rams signed fourth-round draft choice Robert Rochell.

They released a video from Rochell on social media after his signing, the sixth of nine Rams’ draft choices to sign.

That leaves only third-rounder Ernest Jones and fourth-rounders Bobby Brown and Jacob Harris unsigned.

Los Angeles made the Central Arkansas cornerback the 130th overall choice.

Rochell made five interceptions and 13 pass breakups as a junior, earning first-team All-Southland Conference honors. He started seven of UCA’s nine games last season, missing two with an injury. Rochell made 27 tackles and three pass breakups in 2020.

He accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl.

Seahawks sign fourth-round pick Tre Brown

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The Seahawks have signed all their 2021 draft picks.

They had only three of them, but the final one has put pen to paper. Seattle announced Friday afternoon that cornerback Tre Brown signed his four-year deal.

Brown was a fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma, where he was a two-time, second-team All-Big 12 honoree.

Seattle’s two other draft picks — second-round wide receiver D’Wayne Eskridge and sixth-round tackle Stone Forsythe — agreed to their rookie deals last week.

Jaguars sign fourth-rounder Jay Tufele

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The Jaguars signed a fourth member of their 2021 draft class on Friday.

Defensive tackle Jay Tufele is the latest player to agree to a four-year deal with the team. Five more picks remain unsigned, including first-rounders Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne.

Tufele, who was selected with the first pick of the fifth round, had 64 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, an interception, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown in 24 games at USC in 2018 and 2019. He opted out of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rookie will join a defensive tackle group that also includes Taven Bryan, DaVon Hamilton, Malcom Brown, Daniel Ross, Doug Costin, and Daniel Ekuale.

Bills sign sixth-rounder Damar Hamlin


The Bills got another draft pick under contract on Friday.

Defensive back Damar Hamlin signed a four-year deal with the team. The sixth-round pick is the sixth of eight picks to sign their contracts.

First-round edge rusher Gregory Rousseau and third-round offensive lineman Spencer Davis remain unsigned.

Hamlin grew up in Pittsburgh and stayed in town to play for Pitt. He started at safety for his three years with the Panthers and finished his college time with 275 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, six interceptions, and a fumble recovery.

The Bills have Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde back at safety, so Hamlin will likely need to show an ability to help on special teams if he’s going to stick on the 53-man roster come September.

Browns sign fourth-round pick Tommy Togiai


The Browns have another 2021 draft pick officially under contract.

Cleveland signed fourth-round pick Tommy Togiai, the club announced on Friday.

The defensive tackle was the 132nd overall pick in this year’s draft out of Ohio State. He was a second-team All-Big Ten honoree in 2020 after registering 3.0 sacks in seven games as a junior for the Buckeyes.

The Browns now has five of their eight draft picks signed to their standard four-year deals. Their first three selections — cornerback Greg Newsome, linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, and wide receiver Anthony Schwartz — are left to put pen to paper.

Darius Slay: DeVonta Smith will win a lot of 1-on-1 matchups

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Questions about how wide receiver Devonta Smith‘s size will impact his chances of NFL success were asked before he was drafted 10th overall by the Eagles and they’ve continued to come after that selection.

Cornerback Darius Slay fielded one such query while streaming on Twitch recently. Slay said he’s had a chance to work with Smith a little and feels confident that the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner will remain a productive player at the professional level.

“What’s my take on Smith’s size? I ain’t worried,” Slay said, via “Worked with him the other day a little bit, talking to him about a little ball. He’s heading in the right direction. He knows what he’s talking about, he knows how to win 1-on-1 matchups, and that’s what we need from our receiving corps right now. I think he’ll win a lot of 1-on-1 matchups. I’m not going to be shocked about it. Y’all might be shocked about it.”

Anything Slay can do in practice to help Smith win those battles come the fall will be welcomed by an Eagles Offense that’s been looking for a jolt to their receiving corps for a while.

Cowboys sign fourth-round choices Jabril Cox, Josh Ball

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The Cowboys have agreed to terms with two more draft choices.

They reached agreement with fourth-round selections Jabril Cox and Josh Ball, Todd Archer of ESPN reports. The Cowboys already signed fifth-rounder Simi Fehoko, sixth-rounder Quinton Bohanna, sixth-rounder Israel Mukuamu and seventh-rounder Matt Farniok.

That leaves first-rounder Micah Parsons, second-rounder Kelvin Joseph and third-rounders Osa Odighizuwa, Chauncey Golston and Nahshon Wright left to come to terms.

Cox, a linebacker, was a four-year starter at LSU. He earned All-America honors two seasons and finished his career with 316 tackles, 15 sacks, a forced fumble, 26 pass breakups and nine interceptions.

Ball began his career at Florida State but transferred after being suspended. He started one game at left tackle at Marshall in 2019 and eight games there in 2020.

A first-team All-Conference USA player last season, he was ejected from the conference championship game against the Alabama-Birmingham for two personal foul penalties.

The Cowboys have questions in their offensive line with left tackle Tyron Smith having played only two games last season and right tackle La'el Collins having missed the entire 2020 season. Dallas signed veteran Ty Nsekhe in free agency as a swing tackle.

Cardinals sign Marco Wilson, James Wiggins, Michal Menet

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The Cardinals announced Thursday that they’ve signed three draft picks to their rookie contracts.

Cornerback cornerback Marco Wilson, safety James Wiggins, and center Michal Menet all signed their standard four-year deals.

Arizona chose Wilson in the fourth round after he played his college ball at Florida, recording three interceptions in his 36 games. Wiggins and Menet were selected in the seventh round.

With those three putting pen to paper, the Cardinals have four more picks left to sign — including first-round linebacker Zaven Collins.

Patriots sign fourth-rounder Rhamondre Stevenson

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The Patriots have signed fourth-round choice Rhamondre Stevenson, Mike Reiss of ESPN reports.

The running back from Oklahoma becomes the fifth of eight draft choices to sign.

First-rounder Mac Jones, second-rounder Christian Barmore and third-rounder Ronnie Perkins remain unsigned.

Stevenson led OU in rushing in 2020 with 665 yards despite being suspended five games.

He had 165 carries for 1,180 yards and 13 touchdowns in his two seasons in Norman, adding 28 receptions for 298 yards.

Jalen Hurts: Bringing in a self-driven player like DeVonta Smith helps

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The Eagles reunited a pair of college teammates when they traded up to select receiver Devonta Smith at No. 10 overall.

Smith hasn’t played with Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts since 2018, as Hurts transferred to Oklahoma for his final collegiate season. But Smith and Hurts go all the way back to when Smith was visiting Alabama on a recruiting trip.

Addressing the media in a Wednesday press conference, Hurts said he and Smith talked about the possibility of reuniting before it happened. And Hurts thinks Smith’s work ethic will translate to the pros.

“I think about DeVonta and I always tell people the first thing about him, one, the competitor he is. Kind of a stoic guy, kind of like myself in a few ways,” Hurts said. “But he’s self-driven and bringing someone in like that, it helps. I think it helps.

“I look at the late nights that we had in college where there was nothing else to do, we’d go out there and go throw. Or when I hosted him on a recruiting visit to come to Alabama, usually you want to go maybe go on the strip [in Tuscaloosa] … or find something to get into or party or something like that. His head wasn’t on that. He was trying to work when we were in the indoor. Late at night, getting work in. So I think that shows the mentality he has and I think he’s bringing all that with him here.”

If the built-in chemistry between Hurts and Smith translates to the game’s highest level, it will be a big boost to Hurts’ case to be Philadelphia’s franchise QB.

Colts sign Kylen Granson, Sam Ehlinger

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The Colts announced the signing of two draft picks on Wednesday.

Fourth-round tight end Kylen Granson and sixth-round quarterback Sam Ehlinger have agreed to four-year deals with the team. With those two in the fold, the team has now signed all seven of their draft picks.

Granson spent two years at Rice and two years at SMU before entering this year’s draft. He had 78 catches for 1,257 yards and 14 touchdowns the last two seasons and will join Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox at tight end in Indianapolis.

Ehlinger threw for 11,436 yards, 94 touchdowns, and 27 interceptions over four years at Texas. He missed the team’s rookie minicamp earlier this month after the death of his brother.