Giants work out Sean Mannion

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Veteran quarterback Sean Mannion worked out for the Giants after practice Friday, Art Stapleton of northjersey.com reports.

Mannion also worked out for the Jets and Seahawks this week.

He spent the past two years with the Vikings backing up Kirk Cousins after playing his first four seasons for the Rams. Mannion started one game for Minnesota in 2019.

He’s completed 60.8 percent of his 74 career passes for 384 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions.

The Giants have Mike Glennon and Clayton Thorson behind Daniel Jones.

Tyrod Taylor: Nothing but positive conversations with Deshaun Watson

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General Manager Nick Caserio and head coach David Culley both said earlier this week that Deshaun Watson‘s presence at training camp has not been a distraction to the Texans and the team’s current No. 1 quarterback said the same thing on Friday.

Tyrod Taylor has been working with the first team while Watson has not taken any snaps in team drills during the team’s practices this week. Watson has occasionally stood at safety as part of the scout team, but neither his distance from the lineup nor his desire to be traded have hurt his relationship with Taylor.

Taylor said Watson has “absolutely” been a resource for him in his first camp with the Texans and that the two men are getting along well.

“Me and Deshaun are friends,” Taylor said, via Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com. “We’ve known each other for a number of years now. We’ve had conversations on the field, off the field. Non-football, about life. Everything has been positive conversations and they’ll continue to be that way.”

Culley said that the Texans don’t want Watson doing “something he’s not ready to do” when asked about his limited work in practices. There’s been no indication that the Texans will alter that approach at any point, which would leave Taylor in position to start at quarterback come September.

Johnathan Abram: I’m looking to do whatever the Raiders ask of me

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Safety Johnathan Abram was part of a vaunted Raiders 2019 draft class that featured three first-round picks.

Through two seasons, only one has consistently performed at a level expected from his draft status. Running back Josh Jacobs has reached 1,300 yards from scrimmage in each of his first two seasons and has scored 19 total touchdowns. He was the 24th overall pick.

The story is a bit different for Abram and defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell. The latter made only 2.0 sacks, three tackles for loss, and 10 quarterback hits in 11 games last season — not exactly the numbers a team would prefer from a No. 4 overall pick.

Abram, however, suffered a torn rotator cuff and torn labrum in Week One of his rookie season and was out for the remainder of the year. He missed three games last year, one while on the COVID-19 list. He finished with two interceptions, six passes defensed, three tackles for loss, and four quarterback hits in 2020.

The Raiders will have to make a decision on the former 27th overall pick’s fifth-year option in the spring. But Abram said this week his main concern right now is learning the scheme under new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.

“Just learning a day at a time, learning the system, helping the defense get better,” Abram said, via Ed Graney of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, who also noted Abram’s tone with the media was more subdued than it’s been in the past. “I don’t think about things like the [fifth-year option]. Things like that don’t really matter to me. The only thing I’m worried about is learning the defense and getting better every day.”

The Raiders also have some potential competition for Abram at safety, having re-signed 2016 first-round pick Karl Joseph who spent last season with the Browns. Las Vegas also drafted Tyree Gillespie in the fourth round.

“I’m looking to do whatever they ask of me,” Abram said. “If they ask me to play deep, I’ll do it. If they ask me to play near the line of scrimmage, I’ll do it. I’ll do everything to the best of my ability.”

As the Raiders look to significantly improve their defense, Abram should be a big piece of the puzzle. But Las Vegas appears to have solid options behind the young safety if things don’t out early in the season.

Theo Riddick retires from NFL

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The Raiders placed running back Theo Riddick on the COVID-19 reserve list earlier in the week. On Friday, the team placed him on the reserve/retired list.

The Raiders, though, did get running back Kenyan Drake and defensive lineman Darius Stills back to practice, activating them from the non-football injury list.

Riddick signed a one-year deal on March 18 to remain with the team.

Riddick, 30, was a healthy scratch for much of the 2020 season with the Raiders but also spent time on the COVID-19 list and on the team’s practice squad. He played only 48 offensive snaps in four games.

Riddick had six carries for 14 yards to go with five catches for 43 yards on six targets in 2020.

Riddick entered the NFL as a sixth-round choice of the Lions in 2013, and he spent his first six seasons in Detroit. He joined the Broncos in 2019 but spent the year on injured reserve.

Patriots signing Jerald Hawkins

NFL: NOV 01 Steelers at Ravens
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Offensive lineman Jerald Hawkins worked out for the Patriots this week and he’ll be sticking around New England for a while.

Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports that Hawkins is signing with the team. There’s no word on any corresponding move.

Hawkins was a Steelers fourth-round pick in 2017 and started one of the five games he played as a rookie. He spent 2018 on injured reserve, played one game with Tampa after a 2019 trade and then wound up back in Pittsburgh last year. Hawkins appeared in 13 games during his second stint with the AFC North team.

Hawkins’ previous playing time came at tackle, so he’ll likely compete for a role behind Isaiah Wynn and Trent Brown with the Patriots.

Report: Carson Wentz could need surgery, which would sideline him for start of season

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The Colts are holding their breath on Carson Wentz‘s foot injury as they brace for their starting quarterback possibly to require surgery, Mike Silver of NFL Media reports.

That would keep Wentz out for the start of the season, though the injury does not look like it’s season-ending. Indications are that it is not a Lisfranc injury, per Silver.

Green Bay-based foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson will examine Wentz, who hopes it’s something he can play through. But Silver reports Wentz felt a “pop” at Thursday’s practice, and that the injury involves a bone and a ligament.

The Colts likely look into trade options at quarterback, with Jacob Eason, a 2020 fourth-round choice, and Sam Ellinger, a 2021 sixth-round choice, as the next quarterbacks on their depth chart. Nick Foles, who backed up Wentz in Philadelphia for two seasons, is an obvious candidate.

Andrew Berry: We’re looking forward to Baker Mayfield having another fantastic season

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The Browns are in a situation where a contract extension with quarterback Baker Mayfield is not a matter of if, but when.

The 2018 No. 1 overall pick has played well enough to earn one, last year helping lead the Browns to their most successful season since returning to the league in 1999. And reports have been consistent that there’s mutual interest in getting a deal done — though there isn’t necessarily a sense of urgency because Cleveland picked up Mayfield’s fifth-year option for 2022.

So even though Browns G.M. Andrew Berry didn’t go into much detail when addressing Mayfield’s contract situation on Friday, it’s clear that the team has a lot of belief in its quarterback.

“We feel really good with Baker’s progress,” Berry said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “He’s made a ton of growth both on and off the field. We’re looking forward to him having another fantastic season.”

Berry added that if Mayfield continues to work and perform, he’ll be fine. This is also the first time in his pro career that Mayfield’s started consecutive seasons with the same play-caller.

“Baker has entered [training camp] with a phenomenal mindset, a ton of comfort,” Berry said. “I know we’re all very excited for him to have a bit of stability because it’s probably like all of us in our jobs, right? If you’re doing something repetitively or you have a little bit of foundation from prior experience, it just makes you that much more comfortable, and I think that’s something that we certainly notice with him.”

Mayfield completed 63 percent of his passes last year for 3,563 yards with 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Steelers sign Marcus Baugh, waive Dax Raymond with injury designation

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The Steelers signed tight end Marcus Baugh, the team announced Friday. The team waived tight end Dax Raymond with an injury designation in a corresponding move.

Washington cut Baugh on May 10.

He appeared in eight games for Washington last season with one start. He played 79 offensive snaps and 28 special teams snaps, making one reception for 2 yards.

After beginning his career with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent out of Ohio State, Baugh spent time with the Alliance of American Football’s San Diego Fleet and the Panthers. He signed with the Football Team last spring.

The Steelers signed Raymond 10 days ago. He has never played a regular-season game.

Raymond went undrafted out of Utah State last year, signing with the Bears. Raymond did not make the roster, but the Bears signed him back to the practice squad in October.

Raymond signed a futures contract with the Bears after last season, but Chicago waived him in April.

Titans sign Spencer Pulley, Patrick Morris

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The Titans added two centers to their offensive line group on Friday.

The team announced the signings of Spencer Pulley and Patrick Morris. They also announced that they have waived Elijah Nkansah with an injury designation.

Pulley signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2016 and started all 16 regular season games they played during the 2017 season. He was claimed off of waivers by the Giants in September 2018 and started 10 of the 17 games he played for the NFC East team over two seasons, but did not see any game action last season.

Morris appeared in three games for the Broncos over the last two seasons.

The Titans put Aaron Brewer on the non-football injury list at the start of camp. Ben Jones and Daniel Munyer are the other centers in Tennessee.

Dak Prescott thinks his shoulder injury happened because he hadn’t warmed up properly

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Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott‘s ankle his fine. His shoulder isn’t. And Prescott believes that’s his own fault.

Via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, Prescott told reporters on Friday that he believes the shoulder strain happened because he made a long throw without properly warming up.

“I don’t necessarily know if I warmed up properly before I made a certain throw on one of the days,” Prescott said. “I wasn’t as warm as I probably needed to be when I threw that.”

It’s a reminder to all football players, especially at the NFL level, that a certain amount of preparation is necessary before subjecting the body to high-intensity reps. And it could be as simple as Dak being so focused on his ankle, which was badly broken last year, that he maybe for one day he didn’t focus enough on getting his arm warm.

Regardless, it sounds like it’s not a serious injury, and that he should be back soon.

Cowboys have “later than sooner” mindset regarding Dak Prescott’s return to practice

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The Cowboys are 41 days from their season opener, so they have no reason to rush Dak Prescott back to practice.

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said the team’s mindset on Prescott is “later than sooner.”

The Cowboys will reevaluate Prescott on Monday to see if he will throw Tuesday before the team heads to Canton, McCarthy said.

Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the Cowboys expect to keep their injured veterans, including Prescott, Michael Gallup, Amari Cooper, Trysten Hill and DeMarcus Lawrence, at training camp in California to rehab while the team plays in the Hall of Fame Game.

Prescott did conditioning during Friday’s practice.

Prescott left Wednesday’s practice early with shoulder soreness, and an MRI revealed a strained muscle.

Bucs activate Jordan Whitehead, cut Augie Contressa

NFL: FEB 07 Super Bowl LV - Chiefs v Buccaneers
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Safety Jordan Whitehead is back on the Buccaneers’ 90-man roster.

Whitehead was removed from the roster when he was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list on July 23. He was back at practice on the sideline on Friday and should be on the field for the team’s next practice because he was officially activated on Friday afternoon.

Whitehead started every game for the Bucs last season and had 74 tackles, two interceptions and two sacks during the regular season. Whitehead played through a shoulder injury and had surgery after the Super Bowl win.

The Buccaneers waived safety Augie Contressa to open a spot for Whitehead on the roster. Contressa signed with the Bucs in May after going undrafted out of Stony Brook.

Kyler Murray loved the honesty from Aaron Rodgers on Wednesday

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Plenty of people not employed by the front office of the Green Bay Packers liked Wednesday’s unvarnished press conference from quarterback Aaron Rodgers. That group included Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.

People like to sugarcoat shit,” Murray told reporters on Friday, via Darren Urban of the team’s official website. “I Iove how honest he was.”

It’s an intriguing comment from Murray, because even with only two seasons in the NFL he has explained that he has influence over the team’s draft decisions, as he believes he should.

And he’s right. Rodgers, Murray, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady. Any true franchise quarterback deserves a seat at the management table, because their teams already expect them to behave like management — arrive early, stay late, hold teammates accountable, deliver messages that will have more potency from a teammate than from a member of the coaching staff. It’s unfair to freeze those players out from significant decisions regarding the players who will be on the team.

This doesn’t mean that players like Rodgers and Murray should be given final say or anything close to it. It does mean that they should have a voice, a voice that isn’t ignored or politely listened to but not heard. A real voice, and a real chance to use it.

Rodgers, after 17 years with the Packers, has gotten sick of his own voice not being heard by the Green Bay front office. So he’s using that voice elsewhere. It won’t improve the fractured relationship between Rodgers and the powers that be, but it definitely will win him respect for quarterbacks who are or will be in similar predicaments, now and in the future.

Mac Jones: Cam Newton has been a great teammate

New England Patriots Training Camp
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There is apparently an interesting and somewhat unusual dynamic forming among the quarterbacks in Patriots training camp.

According to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, at one point in Thursday’s practice, Mac Jones had a series of poor throws and was visibly frustrated when he went to the sideline. Veteran QB Bryan Hoyer talked to Jones at first and then incumbent starter Cam Newton took Jones aside and spoke to him for a while. Guregian wrote that Jones had his helmet off and “didn’t seem to be doing any talking. He just stood and listened to what the former NFL MVP had to say.”

Newton has been candid in saying that the Patriots’ first-round selection of Jones was the right move for the franchise. But there aren’t many 32-year-old former MVP quarterbacks who actively help the guy hand picked to take his job.

Jones described his budding partnership with Newton when speaking to the media on Friday.

“Obviously, with any relationship and meeting someone new, regardless of position or if he’s a teammate or not, you have to form the bond and the trust. He’s been a great teammate,” Jones said, via Guregian. “He’s helped me and made it a lot of fun. Your first couple practices as a rookie are going to be hard, so he just tries to stay positive with me. That’s just who Cam is.

“Hopefully, I can learn from him and try to be like him in some ways and have fun with it. We’re going to grow together, and we’re going to help each other win games, hopefully.”

Jones presumably still has a lot to learn before he takes over as the Patriots’ QB1. But until Jones gets to that point, it appears he’ll have Newton firmly in his corner to help him improve.

Falcons sign J’Mon Moore

NFL: AUG 15 Preseason - Packers at Ravens
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A new receiver is joining the Falcons at training camp.

The Falcons announced that they signed J'Mon Moore to their 90-man roster. There was no corresponding move to create space for Moore in Atlanta.

Moore was a 2018 fourth-round pick by the Packers and he caught two passes for 15 yards in 12 games during his rookie season. He also returned four kickoffs for 102 yards.

The Packers waived Moore out of camp in 2019 and he eventually signed to the Browns’ practice squad. He spent last season on Houston’s practice squad.

With Moore in the fold, the Falcons now have 12 wide receivers on the roster.