Five players Giants may pursue during NFL free agency period

So far, the good news is that the convoluted (or convluted, as Chris Simms would say it) survive the ground component of the rule likely won’t survive this offseason. But another aspect of the catch rule could be amputated, too, and that’s the thing that could create unintended consequences.

John Kryk of PostMedia.com suggests that the new catch rule will result in the disappearance of all the opaque qualifying language used over the years to define a catch, made necessary when the rule includes the counter-intuitive ‘survive the ground’ element language such as ‘making a football move,’ or ‘becomes a runner.’

That’s good news generally, but if provisions like making a football move or having the ball long enough to clearly become a runner go away, what will the NFL use to determine whether a player had the ball long enough for a catch to be completed?

Pitaro will be asked to reward Iger’s faith on multiple fronts. In the spring, ESPN+, a direct-to-consumer subscription service, is set to launch. Since the $4.99 per month service initially will not include any of its core ESPN TV games, Pitaro will have to manage expectations and possible confusion.

The app could ultimately develop into ESPN’s main business, but in the interim, the offering seems more niche, with fewer big games and reruns of documentaries. It is unclear if it will have the mass appeal that the network is accustomed to. ESPN also will have to make it easily understood that the ESPN+ cost is in addition to cable fees for ESPN’s main programming, which are already by far the highest.

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel has been around the league in recent years and perhaps that’s why he doesn’t find anything to complain about when it comes to abiding by a schedule agreed to by both the league and players in their last round of collective bargaining. Vrabel also pointed out that it’s possible to speak to players about other things going on in their lives until it’s time to get to work on football.

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Brain injuries haunt Patriots players from 3 Super Bowl teams: suit

Forty-two players on the New England Patriots first three Super Bowl teams are part of a class-action lawsuit against the NFL and helmet maker Riddell alleging that they have symptoms of brain injuries caused by repetitive blows to the head during games and practices, according to a report.

In total, more than 340 former Patriots or their estates have sued the NFL and Riddell over brain injuries since the team was founded in 1960, including a number of Hall of Famers, the Boston Globe reported on Saturday.

There are days when I just wake up and don’t want to be around anybody, Gay told the Globe. I just want to be in a room by myself, not doing anything, not even watching TV, and I can’t explain what’s going on.

Otis Smith, a defensive back who played on the team’s first Super Bowl victory in 2002, said mood swings are common among former Patriots players.

Smith, 52, who retired in 2003, said many of the injuries were probably caused before the NFL established concussion protocols.

If you took a bad hit and got dizzy, they called it a stinger and gave you some smelling salts and you were back on the field again, he said of the response to head injuries before 2000.

About $284 million so far has been distributed to about 250 players as part of the suit’s settlement.

And many more are waiting for funds to help them with treatment, the report said.

The Jets’ offensive line was not as bad last year as some people made it out to be, but they need an upgrade at center. Richburg washed out with the Giants, losing his starting job last year, but might be able to move across town and revive his career.

Cousins posted a goodbye to the Redskins on his website on Monday. Initially, the post had Vikings and Jets tags at the bottom of it. Some saw this as a possible clue to the leaders for his services, but it could have just been someone at his website getting a little ahead of themselves. The tags were later removed.

As I’m about to make one of the bigger decisions of my life, I’ll be saying goodbye to my familiar life as a Redskin, Cousins wrote. After calling Washington home for the past six years, the team has decided to move on to another option and, in turn, my family and I will be moving on as well.

Mixon was part of a three-headed running back combination last year that won’t be in place again this season. No one expects Jeremy Hill to return as a free agent and Bengals player personnel director Duke Tobin made it clear that the team is slotting Mixon into the top spot on the depth chart.

Joe really came on for us in the later part of the year, second half of the season. He’s going to be our bell cow running back, Tobin said, via ESPN.com. We are going to combine him with [Giovani Bernard] and we really feel good about that position group.

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Don’t tell Tom Brady luck has anything to do with his NFL success

This story on No. 20 athlete Tom Brady appears in the 20th anniversary issue of ESPN The Magazine. Subscribe today!

That grind wasn’t enough to pull off a miracle in Super Bowl XLII. Brady stopped his rollout and threw long to Randy Moss. It was an Elway throw, deep and diagonal, a throw nobody but Brady knew he had in him. And of course, the throw was no accident.

Did I insult you? I asked.

Brady’s face unwound. No, he said, then looked me in the eye with that famously steely earnestness. I’m never insulted by anything.

The new rule, proposed by the New York Jets, would eliminate the NFL’s long-standing practice of making pass interference a spot foul. Instead, it would mirror the NCAA rule that marks off 15 yards regardless of where on the field the foul took place.

The competition committee itself has not endorsed the proposal, and sources said at the scouting combine that it was unlikely to find support. But some members of the committee warmed to the idea this week, and it is expected to receive heavy discussion among coaches and owners next week at the annual league meetings.

A vote could come as early as Tuesday.

It has some momentum, Vincent said Wednesday afternoon by phone. That has some momentum. We had good discussion in the room. It will be interesting when we get with the coaches. … I don’t want to get ahead of it, but I can tell you this: It had momentum in the room among the competition committee.

Some coaches are concerned that defensive backs will be incentivized to commit obvious penalties to avoid completions when the receiver is more than 15 yards downfield. Others, however, have grown increasingly concerned with the impact a single pass interference penalty can have because of the massive yardage involved. In 2017, for example, there were 129 defensive pass interference penalties of more than 15 yards.

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Bears emerge as potential destination for Jarvis Landry

The Dolphins are looking to trade wide receiver Jarvis Landry, and they may have found a partner in Chicago.

The Bears have emerged as a possible destination for Landry, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports.

Landry is willing to work with the Dolphins in helping to work out a trade, according to the report. That work would presumably include talking to his new team to work out a new contract in advance.

Now banks, hotels and rental cars are picking a side, and they are all starting to take a hit. A Politico/Morning Consult survey of US adults conducted Feb. 23-25 found that consumers felt more negatively toward businesses after they learned they had cut ties with NRA members. For example, MetLife’s unfavorable rating of 12 percent jumped to 24 percent once respondents were told of the company’s decision.

And on Thursday, Georgia lawmakers penalized the Atlanta-based Delta by dropping a $50 million jet-fuel tax cut in retaliation for their anti-NRA move. Amazingly, just 13 NRA members have bought tickets through Delta’s plan. But the airline will now pay in millions.

We’d like to do it sooner rather than later, Gutekunst said. When you’ve got the best player in the sport you’d like to lock him up.

Asked whether he’d like to extend Rodgers before Kirk Cousins and Drew Brees sign their next deals, Gutekunst laughed and said, That would be nice.

Rodgers is due to make $20.9 million in 2018 and $21.1 million in 2019, an average of $21 million over the next two years. The question becomes whether he’ll be looking to surpass the top of the market in new money analysis or in total value from signing.

It’s a key distinction in the assessment of contracts. If, for example, Rodgers signs a five-year, $150 million contract to replace the final two years of his current deal, that contract would have a new-money average of $36 million. And if the deal has a new money average of $30 million (via a three-year, $90 million extension), the contract would have a total value at signing of only $26.4 million.

Keep that in mind when the time comes to assess the quality of the Rodgers extension. He could end up being the highest paid player in terms of new money, but not the highest paid when it comes to examining the deal from the moment it’s signed.

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Jay Gruden is ready to move forward at quarterback

Washington coach Jay Gruden can’t officially talk about his new quarterback yet, but he’s ready to move on from the old one.

They’re turning Kirk Cousins into the free agent market after two years of franchise-tagging him and failing to reach a long-term deal, and have agreed to a deal for Alex Smith which will become official when the league year opens on March 14.

Initiatives on the players’ side include advancing the health and safety of the game, innovative bonuses for stats and offering post-playing scholarships. Ebersol also said that outside of the NFL, the AAF will have the highest-paid football players in North America.

I don’t think you single it out as only a development league, said Tuck, who will be the head of the board of advisers. I think you’re going to have very, very quality players. But at the end of the day, we are complementary to the NFL. They’re the king show right now and for good reason.

The league has a multi-year deal with CBS, which will air the season-opener and championship. Every other week, CBSSN will air one game while the other three will be streamed for free through the league’s app which will also feature integrated, in-game fantasy for fans.

Zimmer said that the team’s training staff believes Cook is progressing well and that he’s on track to be pretty close to ready when the team starts their OTAs in May. Cook will surely be eased back into any on-field work and Zimmer said the team’s overall approach with Cook has to take into account their desire to have him as their lead back for the long haul.

I think he’s going to get a lot of plays, Zimmer said, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The one thing we have to be careful about with Dalvin is, you know, we don’t wear him out. It’s a long season; we’ve got to be smart about it, so we’ll have to have a not necessarily a pitch count, but be mindful that it’s a 16-game, maybe 20-game season and we’re going to have to be smart about how we use him. Because he is a three-down back.

Jerick McKinnon is set for free agency and the Vikings have to decide whether to hold onto Latavius Murray at a salary of over $5 million before it becomes guaranteed early in the new league year. Whatever call they make with Murray, having a reliable No. 2 behind Cook will be important for the Vikings in 2018.

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Mike Maccagnan’s Jets legacy rests on this wild draft gambit

When you are this desperate for a young franchise quarterback and your franchise and your reputation hang on getting one, finally, after all the personnel Buttfumbles at the most important position on the field, you do this.

You transform into Trader Mike Maccagnan so you can go get one.

Allen, he with the JaMarcus Russell arm, suddenly becomes more desirable because he is considered the biggest project of the bunch.

I don’t regret posting the photo at all because personally I thought it was hilarious, Rosen told SI. I want people to know I’m a real person, that I don’t have someone running my Instagram, I don’t have someone prewriting all of my interviews and stuff. With Trump, I’m learning to evolve my message and understand how to convey the substance of it.

Perhaps Johnson, who lusted for Brett Favre’s star power in 2008, might prefer Broadway Baker Mayfield, the shortest and feistiest of the Class of 2018.

Latimer, 25, did not contribute much in the way of statistics in his time in Denver, with only 35 career receptions for 445 yards and three touchdowns. He is 6 feet 2 and considered a possession-type receiver. It remains to be seen how his signing Monday affects Marshall, who was limited to five games in 2017, his first season with the Giants, before he was put on injured reserve, needing ankle surgery. Marshall, 33, is due to count $6.1 million on the salary cap, and cutting him would save the Giants $5.1 million on the cap. It is likely the Giants need that money in order to finish up their business in free agency.

Receiver and special-teamer Dwayne Harris also is vulnerable, as he also finished up last season on injured reserve and has been wearing down. Harris will count $4 million on the cap, and cutting him saves the Giants $2.45 million in cap space.

It turned out to be a busy day for the Giants, who added players to fill slots on the depth chart. They signed Josh Mauro, a defensive end from the Cardinals, re-signed defensive end Kerry Wynn and signed cornerback B.W. Webb.

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