Malik Hooker returns to field Tuesday, taking another step in his rehab

Colts safety Malik Hooker was on the field Tuesday for the first time in his recovery from a major knee injury, Kevin Bowen of 1070 The Fan reports. Video shows Hooker back pedaling and cutting, another step in his rehab.

He will miss the entire offseason program for a second year. Last season, Hooker needed surgeries to repair a torn labrum and a hernia.

It took rock bottom and a 2-14 record in 2010 for the Panthers to make the change from Fox to Rivera. Although the latter was extended through 2020 earlier this offseason, seasons eight and nine were already critical for Rivera in a difficult division and a loaded NFC. Needing to further prove himself under Tepper raises that temperature.

The general manager who worked with Fox, Marty Hurney, is back and also signed through 2020. Before the end of his first stint as Panthers GM, Hurney drafted the team’s two transcendent talents, quarterback Cam Newton and linebacker Luke Kuechly.

Brady has regularly participated in New England’s voluntary OTAs in the past, though he has been missing from the team’s offseason program so far this spring.

Brady, who turns 41 in August, has been linked to numerous retirement rumors but maintained he wants to play football until his mid-40s. He committed to playing the 2018 season last month and said in a recent interview that wife Gisele Bundchen has permitted him to play two more seasons.

“I do not like imposing any club-specific rules. If somebody (on the Jets) takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest.

“There are some big, complicated issues that we’re all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don’t want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won’t. There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.ravens_156

49ers sign two more undrafted free agents

The 49ers announced the signings of two more undrafted free agents.

San Francisco came to terms on three-year deals with Washington offensive lineman Coleman Shelton and North Texas running back Jeff Wilson.

Altogether, well over 1,000 moves were made during the first half of the 2018 NFL offseason.

It’s mostly quiet now. A time to reflect. And judge, of course.

Here are 25 trades, signings, hirings and draft decisions from 20 different teams that will go down as the best moves of the 2018 offseason.

There are no guarantees in the draft, even at the top. No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield could turn into Peyton Manning or JaMarcus Russell, Cam Newton or David Carr, John Elway or Tim Couch. Let’s not pretend we know how his career will pan out.

Although Richmond is far from a football factory, he was a very productive passer as a three-year starter in the Colonial Athletic Association. He’s the kind of developmental prospect the Giants will hope can blossom while backing up Manning.

The Giants seem likely to keep two young quarterbacks, Lauletta and Davis Webb, behind Manning. They’ll hope to see one of them develop into Manning’s successor.

After all, the Honey Badger is just two years removed from a five-interception season in which he recorded 17 passes defensed and was named a first-team All-Pro. He can cover the slot or play either safety position, and he should have a chance to play multiple roles in a Houston secondary that needs him.

Sometimes, you just have to be in the right place at the right time. And when you’re in that place at that time, you have to avoid overthinking. That’s what gets the Los Angeles Chargers on this list. broncos_073_a7bc776fc3295d6f-180x180

Source: Altercation between Eagles, Guice happened at Scouting Combine

Eagles executive V.P. of football operations Howie Roseman is right; no altercation happened between the Eagles and running back Derrius Guice during his visit to Philadelphia. It happened in another city in another state.

Per a league source, the incident (reportedly a shouting match) happened at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Davis and Kristan Ann Ware, a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader, recently filed gender-discrimination complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the Saints, the Dolphins and the NFL.

With their legal action, the NFL cheerleading industry, which to this point has operated outside the realm of the #MeToo movement, is now forced to recognize and confront its unfair treatment of the women it employs.

Geragos also represents Kaepernick.

Reid has had just one free-agent visit, a fruitless meeting with the Bengals last month. Kaepernick almost had a meeting — the Seahawks postponed a planned workout to find out more about Kaep’s position on the national anthem, his collusion lawsuit and his other stances against social injustice.

Are there any teams willing to give Kaepernick or Reid — both very capable NFL talents — a chance to continue their careers?

The result was her very first six-pack, a tangible sign of her discipline.

She hoped that six-pack would help her make the cut—her own month on the calendar.

Davis arrived at New Orleans’ Royal Sonesta Hotel with her teammates, all dressed in black cocktail dresses for the formal event.

They greeted team sponsors and Saints employees, but mostly they whispered about who might get a month this year.broncos_011_935c73aa6c592262-180x180

Report: NFL May Allow Individual Teams to Decide Policy on Anthem Protests

Report: NFL May Allow Individual Teams to Decide Policy on Anthem Protests More The NFL is now considering allowing individual teams to make their own decisions on this policy, according to Mark Maske of the Washington Post .

Although the league has said that players can protest during the anthem, many teams and owners have expressed their displeasure with their players’ form of social justice. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, one of many owners against the protests, said in October there was no question the league is suffering negative effects from these protests. He also said any player who disrespects the flag would be benched. The league has also discussed allowing players to stay in the locker room or keeping all the players in the locker room until after the anthem.

It’s just one of multiple changes to NFL broadcasting we’re going to see this upcoming season. In the NFL as an assistant for the better part of the past three decades, Arians finally earned a full-time head coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals back in 2013.

He would ultimately go on to lead the team to two playoff appearances in five seasons before retiring.

A second-round pick in 2011, Franklin was an instrumental tackle for one of the game’s greatest offenses the Peyton Manning-led Broncos from 2012 through 2014.

It’s tough to gauge what Belichick and Brady’s relationship is now, though I figure anyone who has been attached to another person for 20 or so years is going to have their moments when they’re sick of the other’s stupid face. Belichick hasn’t said anything about it publicly, though apparently President Trump has chatted with him about it. If Belichick did say something, it would probably be some variation of, It is what it is.’’

Brady’s perspective is more compelling, because he’s let us in on what it is to some degree. He spilled some unexpected weariness and candor in the final episode of Tom vs. Time, with his wife Gisele saying he would like to be more appreciated and have more fun at work.

The Steelers put Shazier on injured reserve, officially ending his season. tigers_008-115x115

Matt Ryan got $30 million a year on Thursday.

From the outside, it is difficult to assess how much cash the Trump Organization has on hand.

Eric Trump, a son of the president who helps manage the company, told The Washington Post that none of the cash used to purchase the 14 properties came from outside investors or from selling off major Trump Organization assets.

“First time I put a helmet and pads on was Grade 9 and I didn’t know anything about the game or the rules, so when I did start watching football it was 2009, the same year that T.J. Lang got drafted,” Shepley said. “I just remember looking up offensive lines and it was always Green Bay’s.

“I identified with T.J. Just from a body-type standpoint, we were kind of the same. And as it turns out this past combine training, with the gym I’ve been going through, I was training with T.J., who was a regular there. From two days a week of punching the bag, no pads, no cleats, you learn a lot based off technique. I’m a visual learner, so seeing him work was pretty huge for me.”

Another NFL lineman who was a huge inspiration for Shepley was countryman Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff.

Duvernay-Tardiff played college football at McGill college in Quebec and was a 2014 sixth-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs. He has started as the team’s right guard in 31 games since then and inked a five-year, $42.5 million deal with the team in 2017.

Alas, there’s a sticking point: According to the Daily Mail, the stadium-owning Football Association agreed not to sell Wembley for 50 years after receiving millions from the British government to finance construction of the new stadium, which was completed in 2007. So Khan would have to wait until 2057 to buy it, and he’s 67 years old now, and you do the math.

In essence, the Daily Mail explains, the clause was put into the contract to prevent the FA from scoring a windfall from the sale of a stadium partially financed with public money. It also prevents the FA from selling a minority share of the stadium without government approval until this year and limits the size of any minority share to 15 percent until 2022.

The Daily Mail says Khan was aware of the protections. Along with the Jaguars, he has owned Premier League club Fulham since 2013.

What could have been: Instead of hanging on to Anderson, Mangini brought in veteran Jake Delhomme and drafted Colt McCoy in the third round before his second season with the Browns.

Does it matter? Not really. Delhomme and McCoy combined for 8 TDs and 16 interceptions in a 5-11 season. The three quarterbacks drafted ahead of McCoy were Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow and Jimmy Clausen. Mangini was gone after the 2010 season.canucks_013

Re-sign Elvis Dumervil? 49ers haven’t ruled it out

The 49ers didn’t draft a pass-rusher, which inspires the question: Could they bring back their most effective pass-rusher from 2017?

In March, general manager John Lynch acknowledged Elvis Dumervil could return after the 49ers didn’t pick up the option on the second year of his contract.

Should the Broncos stay put and not trade down, they need to take the best player available who can help them now. Moving on from both Anderson and Talib leaves the biggest void for immediate impact at their positions.

Should the Giants, Jets and Browns pass on Barkley, he’s a no-brainer for the Broncos. At worst, Ward is all but guaranteed to not be picked in the top four. Elway might not want to sit still, but it could work out well.

Overview: The Worldwide Leader in Sports was the sole network showing the draft for decades. Its hope is that viewers believe ESPN is still the best as rival Fox Sports gets its nose under the tent for the first time. ESPN will televise all seven rounds. Sister Disney network ABC will simulcast ESPN’s coverage of rounds 4-7 on Saturday.

Key players: Trey Wingo will serve as main host for the second straight year, following in the footsteps of Chris Berman, the face of ESPN’s draft coverage for 37 years. Joining Wingo will be draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., front office insider Louis Riddick and “College GameDay” analyst Kirk Herbstreit. Kiper is the “GOAT” of draft gurus, according to Seth Markman, ESPN’s NFL czar. The telecast wouldn’t be the same without him.

Other key contributors: NFL Insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, analyst Todd McShay and host Suzy Kolber.

As for those top non-QBs from which the Giants could choose in Round 1, the running back vs. defensive end debate is interesting.giants_144

Jason Witten probably won’t make the Hall of Fame class of 2023

Cowboys tight end Jason Witten announced his retirement on Thursday, and plenty of stories about him referred to him as a future Hall of Famer. He may be, but no one should pencil him in for the class of 2023, which is his first year of eligibility.

Evans not only would provide a third ‘Bama option, but he also carries a little more position versatility than Edmunds and Smith do. He also would come with a little less cost if Dallas needs to trade up to get him. With linebacker being the team’s most glaring need for 2018, it’s not crazy for Jones to be aggressive in finding a special player for the position.

The best argument for a defensive tackle in Round 1 is the fact that the values in Rounds 2 and 3 are not as desirable. In contrast, with pick Nos. 50 and No. 81, there are solid Cowboys-type wide receivers to target in LSU’s D.J. Chark and Washington’s Dante Pettis. At linebacker, Ohio State’s Jerome Baker and Iowa’s Josey Jewell present appeal for Dallas’ scheme.

The Jets drafted Herndon in Round 4. Of their six draft picks, he probably has the best chance of starting in Week 1, since he is competing against Jordan Leggett, who missed his entire rookie season last year with a knee injury.

But when will Herndon be able to fully participate in practice?

Depending on how he feels, it’ll be week by week, Jets coach Todd Bowles said. We’ll take it slow with him. We’re trying to get him ready for training camp. If he’s ready earlier, then he’ll play earlier.

Don’t expect Herndon to be a full participant this weekend at rookie minicamp. When the Jets drafted him last week, general manager Mike Maccagnan said Herndon was about four to six weeks away from being able to fully participate in practice.

Left guard: The Cowboys have locked up center Travis Frederick with a lucrative long-term deal, and they soon will have to do the same for right guard Zack Martin. But now that the team has signed former Patriots standout Cameron Fleming to start at right tackle, the interior status of La’el Collins, signed through only 2019, is iffy. Don’t be surprised if Dallas lands an immediate starter between Frederick and left tackle Tyron Smith.nike_jets_1641

Latest On Steelers, Le’Veon Bell

The Eagles could look at running back Derrius Guice with this pick if he’s still available, but adding a top swing tackle would be a great luxury pick and a long-term move they’ll be happy they made once Jason Peters retires.

He left the Steelers in 2007, and the period in which he was accused of steroid and HGH trafficking did not overlap with his employment with the team. He was accused of acquiring more than 21,000 Vicodin tablets from February 2005 through October 2011.

Rydze was tried in Cleveland since he had been the doctor for the FBI in Pittsburgh, and prosecutors in Ohio presided over the long trial.

“Rydze violated his legal, professional and ethical obligations,” Justin E. Herdman, U.S. attorney for the northern district of Ohio, said in a statement. “He flooded Pennsylvania with dangerous painkillers and prescribed steroids to enrich himself.”

Rydze was also ordered to pay $32,390 in restitution and $18,300 in special assessments according to the statement from prosecutors.

An undrafted free agent out of college, Harrison signed with the Steelers in 2002 and began to make in impact in 2004, eventually ending up playing 14 of his 15 NFL seasons with Pittsburgh, twice earning first-team All-Pro honors and being named to the Pro Bowl five times in consecutive seasons from 2007-11.

He also was the 2008 AP Defensive Player of the Year in helping lead the Steelers to a Super Bowl victory. He was a part of the Steelers’ Super Bowl winning team following the 2005 season, as well.

He finishes his career with 84 1/2 sacks (a franchise-record 80 1/2 with the Steelers), 34 forced fumbles and eight interceptions to go along with 573 tackles and 222 assists.

Harrison played one season, 2013, with the Bengals and one game in 2017 with the Patriots after being released by Pittsburgh in late December.

Moving down from ninth overall would allow the 49ers to stockpile even more draft picks and still get a player they like in Vander Esch. The linebacker is oozing with potential, and the team can’t bank on Reuben Foster ever playing for it again.seahawks_031

Is Richie Incognito retiring or not?

Some of the biggest news of the NFL week came when Bills offensive lineman Richie Incognito announced he was retiring from the NFL because he was too stressed.

Turns out that may have been the case.

Incognito went on Twitter Friday and made a statement that seemingly negates his earlier declaration this week. He apparently isn’t retiring.

“That’s not even really the focus right now,” Gurley said. “Once you win that Super Bowl, they don’t have a choice but to pay you whether it’s the Rams or any other team.

“Once we try to put that together and do that, everything will take care of itself. Just focus on what’s next.”

For the Rams, that’s Aaron Donald.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones met with Bryant for roughly 20 minutes on Friday, as Jones made the move without offering Bryant a pay cut. The Cowboys saved $8.5 million against the salary cap by cutting Bryant, the franchise’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions.

Prescott was at The Star working out with teammates when the news came that Bryant had been released.

“Dez is going to be a hard guy to replace,” Prescott said. “He’s a talented guy, so he’ll be missed.”

In an interview with NFL Network, Bryant insinuated that coaches played a part in his release as well as players he labeled as “Garrett guys” and captains.

The Packers must revamp their edge pass rush as they flip their base 3-4 defense to Mike Pettine’s watch. Either Landry or Marcus Davenport makes sense for their scheme as freakish athletes who can wreak havoc in the backfield.

Regardless, with an assist from his former Texans coach Gary Kubiak (now the Broncos’ senior personnel adviser), Keenum had become the apple of Elway’s eye with his less expensive price tag compared to that of Cousins, thus attractive to a team with limited salary-cap room. Elway built up Keenum as the player the Broncos wanted all along over the rest of the free-agent crop. Was this revisionist history at work by the Broncos GM after he knew Cousins was priced too high and was headed north? We’ll have a better idea about how much the Broncos love Keenum after we see what Elway does in the first round of the draft.seahawks_082

Bears schedule 2018: Chicago gets chances to establish itself as contender

The Bears’ 2018 schedule presents plenty of opportunities for Chicago to prove itself as an up-and-coming contender in the NFC. The home schedule alone features games against the Patriots and Rams, plus the usual slate of NFC North rivals.

In addition to the division games on the Bears’ 2018 schedule, fans will want to circle the date of the showdown against the 49ers as Chicago’s toughest road test. San Francisco, like Chicago, is ushering in a new era with a young quarterback and a relatively new head coach.

Bottom line: The Bears and new coach Matt Nagy have an opportunity to establish themselves as NFC contenders in 2018, and their schedule, even with a few tough games throughout, is manageable enough for them to pull it off. Second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s development will be tested by tough defenses at times, but overall, he and the offense should have opportunities to flourish. Record prediction: 9-7

Below is a breakdown of the Ravens’ schedule in 2018. Baltimore’s regular-season schedule, including dates and kickoff times, will be posted after it is made available by the NFL.

Toughest tests: The road schedule is brutal. Tennessee, Kansas City, Atlanta and Carolina all made the playoffs last year. Baltimore lost four road games last season, and that included a 44-7 loss at Jacksonville. Joe Flacco’s home-and-road splits were almost identical last season, but he will need to be better if they want to go .500 in these games.

Biggest breaks: Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Buffalo are the only teams coming to M&T Bank Stadium that had winning records last season. The game against the Bills should be interesting given last year’s AFC wild-card race. The Ravens faced three AFC North opponents in the first four weeks last year but didn’t take advantage of winning two of those three games.seahawks_120