John Fox joining ESPN as NFL analyst

Former NFL coach John Fox is set to join ESPN as an NFL analyst this upcoming season.

The network announced the hiring Tuesday, adding that Fox will make appearances on NFL Live, SportsCenter and ESPN Radio.

“The opportunity to join ESPN and stay involved with football is a privilege. While I was honored to coach in the NFL for 28 years, I’m looking forward to this new adventure sharing my experiences and passion for the game with ESPN’s viewers,” Fox said in a statement.

Fox, 63, last coached the Bears from 2015-17 after having head coaching stints with the Broncos from 2011-14 and Panthers from 2002-10.

“Obviously, with the stuff that happened last year, I want to continue to work on myself. I want to communicate better, and not let certain stuff get to me. I want to continue to strive to be better every day.”

Barkley compared his skillset to Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott and Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell, two of the NFL’s best pass-catching backs.

That five game stretch starting with Philly and closing with three straight road games is going to decide how this season goes for New Orleans. Why They’ll Go Over Pretty simple: they’re just a really good football team. The Saints went 11-5 last year and never had a shot of winning in the first two weeks of the season. They played the Vikings and Patriots, both very good teams, but they were force-feeding Adrian Peterson the ball and telegraphing when they would run and when they would pass.

Peterson was released by Arizona in the offseason and has since been searching for a new contract. Payton said Tuesday that the Saints are currently not looking to add a veteran back to their roster, but at some point they could be open to re-signing Peterson.

“Absolutely,” Payton said about potentially adding Peterson (via “That would be a part where, if all of a sudden we decided, ‘Hey, we’re going to look at additional players that are on the street.’cowboys_101

Rams claim Larry Rose off waivers

The Rams claimed running back Larry Rose off waivers from Tennessee.

The New Mexico State product signed with the Titans as an undrafted free agent and participated in their rookie minicamp.

Rose was one of New Mexico State’s most productive running backs in recent history. He was a third-team All-American in 2015, along with winning the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year for his impressive sophomore campaign.

In four college seasons, Rose gained 4,563 rushing yards and 37 touchdowns on 771 carries.

Regardless, if Brady is absent for mandatory minicamp June 5-7, the storm clouds will become even more ominous.

Kraft is a great owner and operator who might be able calm the waters surrounding his QB. If not, this offseason drama could be the latest hint that the successful marriage of team and player could end long before Brady’s self-proclaimed goal of playing five more years. And he could gasp finish his career elsewhere.

Though there would be almost no precedent for an NFL team to give a big extension to a player who has three years left on his contract, there is precedent for modification to pacify a situation.

The difference between those three players and Jones is the former three contracts were not in line with the market. Brown was being paid as a No. 2 receiver. Gronkowski had become a transcendent player. Harris had signed a terrible contract that paid him like a middle-tier No. 2 corner, and a run at free agency would have seen him earn millions more per season. Those teams had more logical reasons to make moves with their players than the Falcons have with Jones.

Still, Atlanta should be willing to make a move. The team could do something like what Pittsburgh did with Brown and move $2 million in Jones’ salary from 2019 to 2018. Though the incentive route might be preferred, the Falcons are tight on salary cap space, and given Jones’ production, they would need to have the space this year for any incentives he could earn. They probably can throw in a partial guarantee for next year on his contract to make it look better.ravens_171

Teddy Bridgewater “healthy” and throwing, Mike Maccagnan says

Jets General Manager Mike Maccagnan declared Teddy Bridgewater “healthy” during an appearance on WFAN 660 on Tuesday, via Rich Cimini of ESPN.

Maccagnan said the quarterback threw Tuesday as the Jets began phase 2 of the offseason program.

Bridgewater, 25, has played only nine snaps the past two seasons after a non-contact knee injury kept him out of the entire 2016 season and part of last season.

Tannehill has played some of his best football under Gase, but the duo face incredible pressure to flip the switch come September. Fail to do so, and the changes in Miami promise to be severe.

Because typically big-ticket long-term deals are really just two or three-year contracts with team options at the end that only work to create a ceiling on what the player can make, while the team maintains control. This one is closer to a true four-year deal with two options, which is a breakthrough for players. Third, there’s no offset language on the guarantees.

The 6-foot-5, 224-pounder joins Dak Prescott and Cooper Rush at the position on the roster. Rush, an undrafted free agent last year, beat out Moore for the backup job last year.

White played at South Florida for two seasons before transferring to Western Kentucky. In his college career, White started 42 games, completing 62 percent of his passes for 11,262 yards with 74 touchdowns and 31 interceptions.

In July, the state offered Greene admission to the Pre-Trial Intervention program, which he declined due to actual innocence, the suit states. Two days after he declined PTI, prosecutors sought and were granted an order dismissing the indictment.

McMahon sought a misconduct investigation of police and prosecutors involved in the investigation and the suit asks the U.S. District Court to appoint a police department monitor with the power to hire, fire and ensure the department is giving citizens a fair shake.broncos_013_d4aaf455e35b1bf5-180x180

Vadal Alexander suspended four games for PED violation

The Raiders took two offensive tackles in the draft and that make the competition for spots on the 53-man roster tighter at the position in the coming months.

That could be bad news for Vadal Alexander, who didn’t do anything to help his chances of making the team again this year by getting suspended. The team announced that Alexander has been suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

The real boon of the Bills’ offseason took place when they traded veteran offensive tackle Cordy Glenn and the No. 21 pick to the Bengals in exchange for the No. 12 pick. If that doesn’t happen, they likely don’t land Allen. It was a no-brainer deal for Buffalo, who no longer had much use for the oft-injured Glenn after 2017 second-round pick Dion Dawkins emerged in the left tackle spot as a rookie.

By trading a player who had lost most of his value to them, the Bills saved nearly $5 million in cap space and greatly increased their odds of landing their first franchise quarterback in over a decade.

Given that the nationwide gambling floodgates are quite possibly about to burst open, it probably makes sense to start thinking along these lines a little bit more than usual.

Join us for Wednesday’s PFT Live, when we’ll be joined by Jaguars G.M. Dave Caldwell and Packers G.M. Brian Gutekunst live, and by Bengals receiver A.J. Green on tape.

But when Rosen slid to the No. 10 spot, the Cardinals parted with their third- and fifth-round picks (226 points) to move up five slots (250 points) to take Rosen ahead of the Miami Dolphins.

It’s possible Miami wasn’t going to draft Rosen, so he might have dropped to the No. 15 spot. But the Cards weren’t willing to take that risk, and they paid a fair price to move up.

Now, a team that still has the talent to compete but is employing a veteran starting quarterback with chronic knee issues could have its future franchise quarterback in place. And it might not take long for Rosen to make a major impact in Arizona, because the polished three-year UCLA starter is the most NFL-ready signal-caller in this class. broncos_086_e9cc4ceca922bb4e-180x180

Steelers claim Jake Rodgers off waivers from Texans

The Steelers claimed offensive tackle Jake Rodgers off waivers Wednesday, Field Yates of ESPN reports. Houston waived him Tuesday.

Rodgers, 25, signed with the Texans’ practice squad on December 21. Houston signed him to a reserve/futures contract after the season.

He has never played in a regular-season game.

Rather than trading back and then reaching for a QB in the first round (if it hadn’t been Carr, it would have been the meek-armed Teddy Bridgewater or—gulp—Johnny Manziel) McKenzie let things shake out and took the last one standing.

It’d be interesting to find out what McKenzie would have done if he thought Carr would not be available at 36; no other QB came off the board until 62 (Carr’s fellow Bay Area franchise guy, Jimmy Garoppolo).

But now we’ve drifted into that fruitless woulda/coulda/shoulda territory—probably because there was nothing to say after this blurb’s first sentence: A Defensive Player of the Year, a franchise QB, a Pro Bowl caliber guard, a fan-favorite nose tackle and some decent depth at cornerback.

With 53% of the vote, Gonzalez beat out Ohio State Rep. Christina Hagan and physician Michael Grusenmeyer in the Republican race to replace Rep. Jim Renacci, who isn’t seeking re-election.

The 33-year-old Gonzalez, who began his bid to run for Congress just nine months ago, received support from his former teammate Peyton Manning and Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam.

Our goal has been to authentically represent our shared values while articulating our vision for the future of Northeast Ohio and our great country, Gonzalez wrote in a statement posted to social media following his win. “As we look forward to the November election and a new challenge, we will continue to double down on this same strategy.”

Gonzalez had his NFL career cut short due to knee injuries. In five seasons, he recorded 99 receptions for 1,307 yards and seven touchdowns.

Louis as part of the Robert Griffin III trade from two years earlier.broncos_004_3dfdf814f2e037c7-180x180

What makes Jackson such an exciting NFL prospect is the development on the types of throws every quarterback has to make in the NFL.

According to Pro Football Focus’ charting, Jackson gained 73.2 percent of his career rushing yards on designed runs as opposed to improvisational scrambles. PFF also had him with a high percentage of throws in which he was going to his second and third reads, which matches up with the tape.

Imagining Jackson’s fit in Baltimore’s offense isn’t simple because his style is so different than Joe Flacco’s. Flacco is a stationary quarterback who throws from boot action rarely (and not very well). But with Mornhinweg and Roman on staff, the Ravens have coaches who understand how to move a mobile quarterback into the passing game.

Lee and Bortles both entered the NFL with the Jaguars after being selected in the 2014 draft. The former USC star said the change in Bortles over their four-year careers has been noticeable.

Colts (from Jets) — Braden Smith, G, Auburn: GM Chris Ballard takes his second guard in two days, bolstering the protection around QB Andrew Luck after the offensive line gave up a league-worst 56 sacks in 2017. With Jack Mewhort still around, it’s worth watching whether he or Smith might kick out to right tackle.

Buccaneers — Ronald Jones II, RB, Southern California: RoJo is a highly explosive home run hitter who invites frequent comparisons with Jamaal Charles. He racked up 2,500 yards and 31 TDs on the ground over the last two seasons but isn’t an accomplished receiver. Still, he should immediately replace departed Doug Martin as Tampa Bay’s primary ball carrier.

Bears — James Daniels, C, Iowa: Very good player, though Chicago was another team that seemed set inside with G Kyle Long and C Cody Whitehair. Still, room for Daniels to play guard or kick Whitehair over one spot. Regardless, it’s yet another move that upgrades the offensive talent around sophomore QB Mitch Trubisky.tigers_073-115x115

Few players have mastered the art of saying nothing like Brady.

What we have come to understand since is that the story was accurate, or at least mostly so. Wickersham got it right.

When sportscaster Jim Gray this week asked Brady if he felt appreciated by his bosses, Brady gave, for one of the first times ever, a completely transparent response. That wasn’t by accident.

This was the first photo that confirmed Shazier was in a wheelchair. His family and the team have kept details about Shazier’s condition close to the vest to protect his privacy as he recovers.

He visited his teammates at practice for the first time before the Steelers’ divisional matchup against the Jaguars, bringing an emotional lift as the team prepared for the postseason. Cameron Heyward told NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala that Shazier said he has good days and bad days. But the days he’s able to spend around his teammates are always good days.

Shazier’s father, Vernon, said that Ryan regained feeling in his legs.

He’s much better, the elder Shazier told Pittsburgh’s WPXI-TV, but we’ve agreed to keep his progress private until he’s ready to share where he’s at.

B/R’s NFL draft coverage delivers must-see gridiron analysis on a daily basis. You’ve never been so ready for some football.

A trifecta of episodes that feed public cynicism toward Washington

Above all, President Trump promised that he would change Washington. The promises he made were extravagant, but they resonated in 2016 because they spoke to public perceptions that the political system isn’t working the way it should.

Three moments in a week otherwise dominated by foreign policy focused fresh attention on those shortcomings — a comment by Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget; the congressional testimony of Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; and the controversy over the nomination of White House physician Ronny L. Jackson to head the Department of Veterans Affairs. Each in its own way feeds the public’s cynicism.tigers_002-115x115

Denzel Ward (hip) slated to miss Saturday’s practice

Cleveland Browns rookie defensive back Denzel Ward is expected to miss Saturday’s rookie minicamp practice due to a hip injury.

Ward, who exited Friday’s practice early after suffering the injury, is being held out for precautionary reasons, according to Browns team reporter Andrew Gribble.

I am always going to be cautious with our guys, Browns head coach Hue Jackson said per the team’s official website. If I think that they have a little nick or something right now. I do not think being out here and having a guy if there is anything that we feel that might hurt a guy, I am going to make sure that I take him out. He did some good things, just watching him run around, too. We will see where he is tomorrow and go from there.

Ward was selected No. 4 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft last week. The Ohio State cover man ranked as Daniel Jeremiah’s fourth-best prospect.

But of course, Rothman is banking on Witten, paired with veteran play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore, to develop into a star in his own right.

This is not a mere coincidence. Even with their Super Bowl drought spanning 22 years, the Cowboys have remained the NFL’s top TV draw and well, longest-running soap opera. The intense coverage of the team helped Witten and Romo become comfortable in expressing themselves publicly. Yet the high amount of national TV games (the Cowboys always max out, which means six regular-season games this year, excluding possible games that are flexed to NBC’s Sunday Night Football), also brought another type of exposure as Dallas’ star players repeatedly are tapped to participate in network production meetings a day or two before the game, where strategy and team issues are typically discussed in detail.

It developed that Victor Espinoza still had no Derby mount. When Ruis offered him Bolt d’Oro, a fellow jockey told Espinoza, Maybe you should wait. You’re taking the mount that finished second in the Santa Anta Derby.

No, I wasn’t second, Espinoza said.The horse was.

News of Morgan’s hiring comes just three days after Russ Brandon resigned as president of the Bills.

Trump lawyer Giuliani seeks to clarify comments about $130,000 payment to porn star, maintaining it wasn’t connected to campaign

BREAKING: In a statement Friday, Rudolph Giuliani said the October 2016 settlement was made to protect President Trump’s family and would have been done in any event, whether he was a candidate or not.canucks_014

Redskins Release Orlando Franklin

Following his departure from San Diego, Orlando Franklin has not been able to re-establish his career. The Redskins made the decision to release the veteran guard on Thursday.

A former six-year starter with the Broncos and Chargers, Franklin played in one regular-season game with the Redskins last season. Washington signed Franklin in late October of last year but waived him shortly after. However, the Redskins reacquired him in mid-January via reserve/futures contract.

He’ll now return to free agency.

Without access to Pittsburgh’s practices or the coaching staff’s evaluations, it’s impossible to gauge Dobbs’ progress. What we do know, however, is that he was overwhelmed in preseason action last summer and the presence of Rudolph places his roster spot in jeopardy.

Gleaning clues from general managers is a fruitless exercise, almost as fruitless as guessing who’s picking whom. But Quinn uses the word “dependability” a lot when discussing players, and the Lions have fielded the least-dependable running game in the league. Big and burly may not be the most exciting path, but until the Lions get it right, that’s where they should head.

Despite the unpredictability, more money was wagered on the first leg of the Triple Crown than ever before last year. Not long after Always Dreaming emerged victorious in the 143rd renewal of the Run for the Roses, the Churchill Downs track reported that wagering from all sources on the Kentucky Derby was $139.2 million.

With a wide-open race predicted Saturday, when the 144th running of the Derby takes place at Churchill Downs, bettors will be looking for any edge possible to handicap thoroughbred racing’s marquee event.

Ryan certainly is more accomplished than either Cousins or Garoppolo. He’s a four-time Pro Bowl selection and the 2016 MVP. That same season, he took the Falcons to the Super Bowl, and they jumped out to a commanding lead but collapsed in the second half.

Ryan, who owns a 95-63 regular-season record and 4-6 playoff mark, now faces the task of leading his team back to such heights and beyond.

It’ll be interesting to see how long Ryan remains as the highest paid quarterback. Aaron Rodgers is due a contract extension from the Packers, so it’s foreseeable that his deal will top Ryan’s.

What could have been: The Browns could have drafted Donovan McNabb with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft instead of Tim Couch.giants_150

Seahawks Release Cliff Avril

The Seahawks announced they have released Cliff Avril with a failed physical designation. Avril lost half of the 2017 season to a back injury which reportedly could keep him from returning to the field.

Then again, two Pro Football Hall of Fame QBs, Terry Bradshaw and Jim Kelly, didn’t score much higher (15) than Jackson did. Plus, Jackson admits he can’t catch anything more than a shotgun snap. And just to deter any teams that did envision moving him to receiver, Jackson refused to run the 40-yard dash for NFL scouts. He did say the best time he ever logged was 4.34 seconds — and that was while dealing with a bout of turf toe.

As for any on-field passing flaws that need correcting, Jackson spent extensive pre-draft time with his quarterbacks coach Joshua Harris in South Florida doing “figure-eight” drills and “a lot of throwing outside the pocket” trying to improve his mechanics.

“They say I can’t throw — my elbow stays dropped and stuff like that — and I had a narrow base coming out of college,” Jackson said. “I’ve been working on that a lot and keeping my legs shoulder-width apart when I’m throwing, stepping up in the pocket or just getting out of it.”

Ex-Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik says the work won’t stop there in the NFL.

The one position of need for the Jaguars happens to present a few players who should be available late in the first round of the draft. The player Jacksonville should be looking at most is Vander Esch. The former Broncos linebacker is hailed as one of the top prospects at his position, and rightly so. For a linebacker, his size-speed combination (6-4, 254 pounds, 4.65 40-yard dash) is otherworldly. His quickness and awareness will be an asset to an NFL defense.

Another route the Jaguars could go is tight end, a position at which they should have their pick of the litter and go with Mike Gesicki out of Penn State. Gesicki is another player whose athleticism is off the charts. He’s the kind of pass-catching tight end most teams dream of having; a player who can create matchup nightmares all over the field. His blocking needs work, but as far as a being a weapon goes, he has it covered and then some.

Brothers were selected in the same opening round for the first time: Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds to Buffalo and older sibling Terrell, a Hokies defensive back, to Pittsburgh. The Steelers’ pick was announced by linebacker Ryan Shazier, who suffered a severe back injury last season and underwent surgery on Dec. 6. Shazier limped slowly on stage with help, drawing loud applause from the audience.nike_jets_1635