Ballin’ on a Budget Week 4 Picks

Ballin' on a Budget Wild Card Weekend Results, Super Bowl Value Picks

Time to build some momentum fellow NFL bettors. In Weeks 1 & 3 combined, we have gone 7 for 10 in our picks. It’s just that fickle Week 2 that’s been keeping us from the money. No matter, Week 4 is when we get out of our rut. More importantly, it’s where we get into the green. For the second straight week, we’re going with four picks against the spread and one over/under pick. That worked pretty well for us last week with a 60% pick rate, so let’s keep it going.

Week 4 Picks

Bears -2.5 vs. Buccaneers (-110)

At least for now, the Bears are the leaders of the NFC North and they’re a dropped interception away from being 3-0. They struggled in the first half against the Cardinals on the road, but this defense is legit. It shut out the Cardinals in the second half and gave Mitch Trubisky and Co. a chance to win. Chicago is back at home where it looked great against the Seahawks in Week 2.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has been on another planet for Tampa this season, but he also hasn’t faced the type of pass rush the Bears are going to throw at him. This seems like the perfect week for his run of three straight 400-yard passing games to end, especially since the Bucs don’t have a running game that will be able to do much against Chicago’s front 7. The Bears know they have a more difficult schedule coming up and grabbing a win over Tampa before they hit that stretch is wildly important. Only having to win by a field goal, the Bears seem like a good bet to pull this one out at home. The bet: $3 for total payout of $5.70.

Eagles -3 at Titans (-110)

Our biggest lock of the week last week ended up being one of our only two losses, but this seems like a pretty safe bet. Philly got Carson Wentz back into the flow of things in a close 20-16 win against the Colts over the weekend and this should be the week he takes that next big step in his return from a torn ACL. Yes, the Titans completely shut down the Jaguars in a boring 9-6 win Sunday, but that Jacksonville offense had an unusually good game against the Patriots. That shouldn’t be treated as their standard.

Philly struggled on the road against the Bucs in Week 2 and this game should be relatively close, but the Eagles are getting healthy at the right time and appear on the verge of finally breaking out after a few uninspired performances early in the season. Remember that even in victory, Tennessee only scored nine points last week. If you’re asking me to choose between Carson Wentz and a combination of Marcus Mariota and Blaine Gabbert, I’m taking Wentz every single time. The bet: $8 for total payout of $15.20.

Seahawks -3 at Cardinals (-110)

Seattle woke up, as we expected, against the Cowboys and that might give them some momentum heading into Week 4. There are a couple factors that make it a risky bet, but there is also reason to take those risks. As we’ve noted in this column before, Seattle is a much worse road team than they are a home team. Plus, Arizona is starting Josh Rosen and betting against a QB making his first career start is risky. You just don’t know what you’re going to get.

However, Seattle’s defense stepped up big time against Dallas and there’s reason to believe they’ll apply enough pressure to make Rosen uncomfortable on Sunday. The offense is getting healthy again for the Seahawks and this could really help put them in the wild card discussion in the NFC. Arizona is hungry for its first win after blowing a 14-0 lead against the Bears, but this just doesn’t seem like the week it’s going to happen. This should be a close game and with the line at -3, it provides you the flexibility to push instead of lose if the Seahawks win by a field goal. The bet: $4 for total payout of $7.60.

Saints -3 at Giants (-110)

New Orleans’ big overtime win against the Falcons felt like a statement. They have been inconsistent through three weeks, but that win seemed like one that will get them on the track they’ve been trying to get on. New York blew out the Texans in their own right, but with the Texans now 0-3, how much does that really mean? These have been the most variable teams from week to week, but I trust the Saints’ offense much more than the Giants.

The Drew Brees to Michael Thomas connection is becoming ridiculous and I don’t expect it to slow down against a suspect Giants secondary. I feel more than comfortable giving those three points with the way the Saints offense is starting to hum. The bet: $3 for total payout of $5.70.

Bills-Packers over 44.5 (-110)

Buffalo is coming off the biggest upset (based on point spread) in the NFL in 23 years. Do they have what it takes to knock off Aaron Rodgers and the struggling Packers? Probably not, but I do know this game should feature plenty of points. After the Packers gave up 31 points to the previously anemic Redskins offense, there’s no telling what the Bills, now led by Josh Allen, can do.

This could create a perfect scenario if the Green Bay defense gives up some early points and Rodgers and Co. get to go to work. A game in the 30-20 range seems perfectly possible and that would get us the over. Let’s hope for some Green Bay defensive lapses early and some Rodgers magic down the stretch. The bet: $2 for total payout of $3.80.

No bonus picks this week; there aren’t really enough bets I’m in love with for Week 4. Everything above are the best bets you can find based on the last couple weeks. Of course, as we’ve seen in the past few weeks, sometimes the most previous performance does not indicate future performance. However, that’s what we have to go on and we’re sticking with it. Here’s to being in the green by next Sunday night.

NFL notebook: Wentz signs extension through 2024

NFL notebook: Wentz signs extension through 2024

The Philadelphia Eagles locked up franchise quarterback Carson Wentz on Thursday, with

NFL notebook: Wentz signs extension through 2024

The Philadelphia Eagles locked up franchise quarterback Carson Wentz on Thursday, with the sides agreeing to terms on a four-year contract extension through the 2024 season.

ESPN reports the extension is worth $128 million, with a max value of $144 million and a record of more than $107 million guaranteed. Combined with the final two years of his rookie deal — including $4.1 million in 2019 and $22.8 million in 2020 — Wentz’s contract is worth $154 million, with a max value of $170 million, over six years.

Wentz, the second overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, has passed for 10,152 yards, 70 touchdowns and 28 interceptions in 40 career games. He finished third in MVP balloting in 2017, when he passed for a franchise-record 33 touchdowns in 13 games before tearing the ACL in his left knee. Backup Nick Foles directed the Eagles through the playoffs and to a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots.

Wentz, 26, returned from the injury to play in 11 games last season and passed for 3,074 yards and 21 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He missed the final three regular-season games and both playoff contests with a back injury but is healthy and participating in OTAs.

–New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady clarified to reporters that his attempt to trademark the nickname “Tom Terrific” was not done with the intent to use the moniker but rather to stop its use.

Brady, who filed to trademark the term last month, has drawn heavy criticism from New York Mets fans, as longtime Mets pitcher Tom Seaver earned the nickname “Tom Terrific” during his time with the Mets from 1967 to 1977. Brady said Thursday he regrets filing the trademark, adding he did so only so nobody else could.

“It’s unfortunate,” Brady said.

“I was actually trying to do something because I didn’t like the nickname, and I wanted to make sure no one used it, because some people wanted to use it. I was trying to keep people from using it, and then it got spun around to something different than what it is. Good lesson learned, and I’ll try to do things a little different in the future.”

–Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse joined the Detroit Lions and reunited with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

The one-year deal reportedly is worth $2.3 million, according to multiple reports.

Kearse, 29, played for Bevell with the Seattle Seahawks but played most recently for the New York Jets. He caught 37 passes for 371 yards and a touchdown last season.

–The Arizona Cardinals claimed offensive tackle Desmond Harrison off the waiver wire.

The Cardinals had the first claim for the 25-year-old lineman, who was waived by the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday after he missed the first day of minicamp.

Head coach Freddie Kitchens told reporters Harrison missed a flight and was “a little late.” He added that the team “just decided to move on.”

–New England Patriots long-snapper Joe Cardona was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in the Navy during a ceremony at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Cardona, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was promoted from lieutenant junior grade. The event was held on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, whose father, Steve, coached and scouted for the Navy football team from 1956-89, was in attendance to say a few words.

“Congratulations to Lieutenant Joe Cardona on his promotion,” Bill Belichick said, per ESPN. “And obviously a day to remember our World War II veterans on D-Day. The 75th anniversary, that’s kind of a big one for us. I want to recognize all the things that they did.”

–Field Level Media

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Chiefs’ Hill releases statement about child abuse probe

Chiefs’ Hill releases statement about child abuse probe

Chiefs’ Hill releases statement about child abuse probe

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill released a statement through his lawyers Thursday, a day after the district attorney’s office announced it would not bring charges against him for child abuse and neglect.

“I love and support my family above anything. My son’s health and happiness is my number one priority. I want to thank the Kansas City Chiefs, my attorneys, my agent and my union for supporting me through this. My focus remains on working hard to be the best person for my family and our community I can be, and the best player to help our team win,” Hill said in the statement.

Kansas City District Attorney Stephen Howe on Wednesday said he believes a crime resulting in injury happened to Hill’s son, but that the evidence couldn’t support a charge against Hill or the child’s mother.

Hill’s attorneys Thursday insisted he is “innocent of any crime.”

“Contrary to media reports, Tyreek cooperated with law enforcement, waived his Fifth Amendment rights, and answered questions from both law enforcement and DCF,” Hill’s attorneys said in the release.

Authorities had been investigating incidents — one on March 5 for child abuse and neglect, and one on March 14 for battery — at Hill’s home in Overland Park, Kan. Both police reports indicated a juvenile was involved.

Hill, 25, and his fiancee, Crystal Espinal, were listed on the March 5 police report as “others involved.” On the March 14 report, Espinal was listed as “others involved,” with a juvenile listed as the victim.

The Kansas City Star reported previously that the couple’s son suffered a broken arm in the incident. The Star also reported earlier this week that the boy was recently removed from his parents’ custody, as part of a family court process called a “child in need of care” case.

Despite not being charged with a crime, Hill could be subject to discipline from the NFL.

–Field Level Media

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Europe opts for three captain’s picks for 2020 Ryder Cup

Europe opts for three captain's picks for 2020 Ryder Cup

European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington

Europe opts for three captain’s picks for 2020 Ryder Cup

European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington will use three wild card picks instead of four when his team defends the cup at next year’s event at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

Nine golfers for the European squad will qualify through the point system. Four will be chosen from points accumulated exclusively in European Tour events, with the next five coming from the World list, where points are gained for starts on any tour.

Europe won the 2018 event in Paris, when captain Thomas Bjorn made four at-large selections.

“I have said on many occasions that one of the reasons for recent European success in the Ryder Cup is continuity,” Harrington said via Golf Digest. “It is a theme that will be prevalent across my captaincy and I think you can see that in the overall qualification process for the 2020 team.

“Having said that, I am pleased that the (European Tour) tournament committee agreed to the change of wild card numbers. I have spoken to a number of people regarding the ninth player automatically qualifying for the team and, in my experience, a player is more comfortable when he has qualified, hence my reasoning behind this change.”

The 43rd Ryder Cup will be played on the Straits Course at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis., from Sept. 25-27, 2020. The U.S. team, led by captain Steve Stricker, will use four captain’s picks.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Raiders, Incognito have ‘mutual interest,’ but waiting

Report: Raiders, Incognito have 'mutual interest,' but waiting

The Oakland Raiders

Report: Raiders, Incognito have ‘mutual interest,’ but waiting

The Oakland Raiders and free agent guard Richie Incognito have “strong mutual interest” but are waiting to see if the NFL disciplines Incognito for his arrest last summer, ESPN reported Tuesday.

Per ESPN, Incognito’s visit to the team is complete, and he’s returning to Arizona to work out while awaiting word on possible punishment under the league’s personal conduct policy.

Incognito was arrested in August during an incident at an Arizona funeral home following his father’s death. He pleaded guilty last month to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 11 months of probation and a 90-day suspended jail sentence.

The 35-year-old last played for the Buffalo Bills in 2017. He announced his retirement in April 2018 due to health reasons.

“My liver and kidneys are shutting down,” Incognito told the Buffalo News at that time. “The stress is killing me. It’s just about doing what’s right. I just want to be in the Hall of Fame.”

A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Incognito has started 150 career games with the St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins and Bills. He was suspended by the Dolphins in 2013 after being accused of bullying teammate Jonathan Martin, and he sat out the 2014 season.

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said earlier this week the starting job at left guard is “wide open.” Previous starter Kelechi Osemele was traded to the New York Jets this spring.

–Field Level Media

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Arians: Pierre-Paul out at least 5 to 6 months

Arians: Pierre-Paul out at least 5 to 6 months

Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass

Arians: Pierre-Paul out at least 5 to 6 months

Tampa Bay Buccaneers pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul will miss five to six months as a best-case scenario due to the broken neck he suffered in a car accident last week.

The best-case scenario was provided by coach Bruce Arians on Friday, when he met with reporters. A decision on whether Pierre-Paul will need neck surgery hasn’t yet been reached.

“Very unfortunate,” Arians said of the situation. “All we can do is just pray and hope for the best and hope it’s one of those five- or six-month things and go from there.”

Pierre-Paul was injured in the early morning hours of May 2 when he lost control of his Ferrari and it veered off the road and crashed into a concrete barrier. It was raining at the time of the accident, according to the crash report.

Pierre-Paul was not ticketed at the scene.

The loss of Pierre-Paul would be a big blow as even the best-case scenario outlined by Arians would have him missing six to 10 games. Not having him at all in 2019 is possible if the timetable worsens.

Pierre-Paul had a team-best 12.5 sacks last season, his first with the Bucs after playing eight years for the New York Giants. The 12.5 sacks tied for his second most behind the 16.5 he had for New York in 2011.

Pierre-Paul has faced adversity before as he was involved in a fireworks accident on July 4, 2015. He lost a finger and part of a second and played in just eight games in the 2015 season.

Arians is still pondering how the Buccaneers would replace Pierre-Paul.

“I don’t know what the answer is yet, if he’s gonna play, if he’s not gonna play,” Arians said. “(You) just practice with the guys you have, just like if anybody else gets hurt, on the field or off the field. You march on.”

–Field Level Media

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Malnati/Hurley lead as play halted at Zurich Classic

Malnati/Hurley lead as play halted at Zurich Classic

Malnati/Hurley lead as play halted at Zurich Classic

Play was suspended for the second consecutive day at the PGA’s Zurich Classic in New Orleans on Friday, but not before Peter Malnati and Billy Hurley III carded rounds of 63 and 67 to take a one-stroke lead on the field at 14-under par. When the second round was suspended because of darkness, 40 groups had completed play.

Malnati and Hurley were among the many players in the field of 80 teams that played 36 holes Friday after Thursday’s opening round was interrupted after the TPC of Louisiana course was deluged with 2 1/2 inches of rain.

Play was suspended at 7:36 p.m. CT Friday and will resume at 7 a.m. Saturday. Tournament officials hope the rest of the field can complete the second round by 11 a.m., when the field will be cut to the low 35 teams including ties.

“I know Billy and I both are into our conditioning and it’s important, but you’re not prepared to be on your feet walking for what we were today, 10 hours or more,” Malnati said in a story at “It’s a long day. Playing 36 holes, the greens definitely got kind of scruffy a little bit and harder to make putts, so we’re super thrilled with pretty much every shot I think we hit today.”

Beginning the second round on No. 10, Malnati/Hurley coupled for birdies at Nos. 11, 13, 17, 2 and 6 to finish 5 under.

“We were just consistent and solid, and I think we had a really good plan on every shot,” Malnati said. “And we executed quite well, too. Just good sold golf today. That made it a lot of fun.”

Malnati is searching for his first top-10 finish of the season. Hurley, playing out of the Past Champion category, is making only his fifth start of the season, with a tie for 30th at the Valspar Championship his best showing this season.

The team of Russell Knox and Brian Stuard trails by one shot after rounds of 62 and 69. Three other teams are also at 13 under, but did not complete their second round — Scott Stallings/Trey Mullinax (through nine holes), and Rory Sabbatini/Brian Gay and Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown (both through four holes).

The two-player team event includes four-ball (best-ball) rounds (first and third rounds), and foursomes (alternate shot) in the second and final rounds.

No official world rankings are awarded for the team event, but each member of the winning team will earn 400 FedEx Cup points and a two-year winner’s exemption on the PGA Tour along with entry into the Tournament of Championship and The Players Championship next year.

NOTES: In 2016, when the event was reduced to 54 holes (inclement weather), Stuard beat Byeong Hun An and Jamie Lovemark in sudden death to claim his lone PGA TOUR title. That was the last year before the event converted to a team format … Sabbatini, who finished tied for second in the 2009 event, missed the cut with Bryson DeChambeau in 2017 and John Daly in 2018 … Kisner is seeking fourth PGA Tour title and second of the season (WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play), while Brown is searching for his second Tour victory (2013 Puerto Rico Open).

–Field Level Media

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Eagles QB Wentz says back still not fully healed

Eagles QB Wentz says back still not fully healed

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz says the stress fracture in his back hasn't fully healed, but he still plans to be ready for the start of organized team activities next month.

"It's still getting there," Wentz told reporters Monday when the

Eagles QB Wentz says back still not fully healed

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz says the stress fracture in his back hasn’t fully healed, but he still plans to be ready for the start of organized team activities next month.

“It’s still getting there,” Wentz told reporters Monday when the Eagles began their voluntary offseason program. “Some of the stuff just takes time. That’s not really the main concern, it’s just kind of how I feel and I feel really good with where I’m at.”

Wentz, 26, was diagnosed with the injury in mid-December and missed Philadelphia’s last three regular-season games and both playoff contests.

He said he is taking things “week by week” and that he has been cleared to run and throw some, but he declined to discuss specifics of his recovery.

The Eagles begin OTAs on May 21.

“That’s the goal. That’s the goal,” Wentz said. “But there really is no timetable, no rush. But I feel good with the progression I’ve been on.”

Wentz, who also missed the Eagles’ Super Bowl run in 2017 with a torn ACL, was asked to comment on concerns about his overall durability. That is a greater concern about that entering 2019 because former backup Nick Foles is now the starter in Jacksonville.

“I get it. I get it,” Wentz said. “I’m looking forward to putting those behind me. I understand it’s a part of this league, it’s a physical league and things happen. Some of those things are out of my control and I look forward to putting that behind me.”

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft, Wentz is 23-17 through three seasons with 10,152 passing yards, 70 touchdowns and 28 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

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Texans TE Griffin arrested in Nashville

Texans TE Griffin arrested in Nashville

Houston Texans tight end Ryan

Texans TE Griffin arrested in Nashville

Houston Texans tight end Ryan Griffin was arrested in Nashville, Tenn. on Friday night after allegedly punching a hotel window.

The 2019 NFL Draft is currently being held in Nashville. The Texans took tight end Kahale Warring out of San Diego State in the third round earlier Friday night.

The 29-year-old Griffin was charged with vandalism and public intoxication, according to court records, and released Saturday morning on $1,750 bond.

Griffin, who suffered a bloody left hand in the incident, faces a May 31 court date.

A former sixth-round pick, Griffin is in the final year of his contract.

He had 24 catches for 305 yards last season. In his six seasons, all with the Texans, he has 136 catches for 1,491 yards and seven scores.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: RB Crowell tears Achilles, Raiders re-sign Martin

Reports: RB Crowell tears Achilles, Raiders re-sign Martin

Reports: RB Crowell tears Achilles, Raiders re-sign Martin

Oakland Raiders running back Isaiah Crowell suffered a torn Achilles tendon on Tuesday and is out for the season, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday.

Crowell, who signed a one-year contract valued up to $2.5 million in late March, will have surgery next week, Schefter said. He became available when the New York Jets released him after signing free agent running back Le’Veon Bell to a four-year contract.

The 26-year-old spent his first four seasons with Cleveland before signing with the Jets before the 2018 season. Last year, he gained 837 total yards and scored six touchdowns in 13 games (six starts).

The injury has prompted the Raiders to re-sign free agent RB Doug Martin, NFL Network reported Wednesday.

The Raiders had let Martin, their leading rusher last season, walk away with Crowell in the fold. Martin, 30, appeared in all 16 games (nine starts) in 2018 and had 839 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns.

The Raiders were counting on Crowell to play a prominent role following the retirement of Marshawn Lynch. Aside from Martin, their depth chart now includes rookie Josh Jacobs — the No. 24 pick in the draft from Alabama – along with Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and Chris Warren.

–Field Level Media

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NFL puts dates on International Series games

NFL puts dates on International Series games

Five International Series games on

NFL puts dates on International Series games

Five International Series games on the 2019 NFL schedule were assigned dates on Wednesday, including a primetime AFC West rivalry game in Mexico pitting the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers at Azteca Stadium.

The matchups for all five games, four of which are scheduled to be played in London, were announced by the NFL on Jan. 21.

The Chiefs-Chargers game is the final date on the International Series schedule, which opens Oct. 6 with the Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders in a 1 p.m. ET game at Tottenham Stadium.

NFC South division foes are at Tottenham the following Sunday, when the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers square off in a 9:30 a.m. ET game (Oct. 13).

Play shifts to Wembley Stadium on Oct. 27 as the Cincinnati Bengals and NFC champion Los Angeles Rams meet (1 p.m. ET), and AFC South opponents — Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars — play Nov. 3 in a 9:30 a.m. ET contest.

The Rams were scheduled to play the Chiefs at Azteca Stadium last season, but that “Monday Night Football” game was moved to Los Angeles due to field conditions.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said at the Super Bowl in February that NFL officials are confident the game will be played in Mexico City this year.

–Field Level Media

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QB Haskins not attending NFL draft

QB Haskins not attending NFL draft

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins' name was notably

QB Haskins not attending NFL draft

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ name was notably absent when the league listed the 23 players who will attend the NFL Draft in Nashville later this month.

Haskins has not commented on his decision to forego the festivities, but the revelation follows speculation this week that his draft stock is slipping.

Peter King wrote in Monday’s “Football Morning in America” column that the former Buckeyes star “could plummet” and might be the fourth quarterback off the board after Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray of Oklahoma, Missouri’s Drew Lock and Duke’s Daniel Jones.

Murray, Lock and Jones will be in attendance when the draft kicks off on April 25. So will Ohio State pass rusher Nick Bosa, a potential No. 1 overall pick along with Murray.

Haskins completed 70 percent of his passes for 4,831 yards with 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions in 14 starts last season.

It’s not uncommon for top players to skip the green room and attend draft parties at home with friends and family. The last two No. 1 overall selections — Baker Mayfield in 2018 and Myles Garrett in 2017 — opted not to attend the draft.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Vikings to add QB Mannion

Report: Vikings to add QB Mannion

The Minnesota

Report: Vikings to add QB Mannion

The Minnesota Vikings will be signing unrestricted free agent Sean Mannion as a backup to Kirk Cousins, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported Sunday, citing a source.

Mannion spent the first four years of his NFL career with the Rams, who moved on from Mannion in the offseason when they signed former Jacksonville Jaguars starter Blake Bortles as an experienced backup to Jared Goff.

Mannion appeared in 10 games with the Rams, with one start in 2017 — a season-ending loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Mannion, a 2015 third-round pick out of Oregon State, completed 33 of 53 passes for 258 yards, with one interception and no touchdowns, in his career with the Rams.

The Vikings let Trevor Siemian go via free agency — he signed with the Jets — and also have quarterback Kyle Sloter on their roster. Sloter, 25, has yet to appear in an NFL game.

–Field Level Media

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Raiders’ Gruden: Carr is ‘going to be our QB’

Raiders' Gruden: Carr is 'going to be our QB'

Amid rumors and speculation that the

Raiders’ Gruden: Carr is ‘going to be our QB’

Amid rumors and speculation that the Oakland Raiders could be looking to move on from Derek Carr, head coach Jon Gruden said Monday that Carr’s status is set for 2019.

“Yeah. He’s going to be our quarterback,” Gruden said in an interview with NFL Network from the league meetings in Phoenix. “I’m not going to address all the rumors. I could care less about the rumors.

“He threw for 4,100 yards. Threw for almost 70 percent (completion rate) in a very dire, tough circumstance. So I’ve got a lot of confidence in Carr; what he can do with Antonio Brown, with Tyrell Williams, with Trent Brown coming in here to help our offensive line.”

Gruden also confirmed the team will conduct private workouts with top quarterback prospects Kyler Murray of Oklahoma and Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State, as The MMQB reported earlier Monday. But he noted that those workouts are simply part of the team’s due diligence.

“We’re going to meet with a lot of guys at every position,” Gruden said. “We’re not going to look past anybody at any position. We have the fourth pick in this draft and we’re going to make sure we get it right.”

Unlike pre-draft visits — for which each NFL team can host up to 30 players at its facility — private workouts must be conducted on the player’s campus or near his hometown. To this point, neither Murray nor Haskins has been reported to be scheduled for a visit with the Raiders.

Like Gruden, general manager Mike Mayock has been similarly supportive of Carr, but he has also been open about his responsibility to look into all avenues available to improve the team. Speculation has swirled since before the NFL Scouting Combine that the Raiders have interest in Murray, who many expect to be chosen first overall by the Arizona Cardinals.

Haskins, once considered the likely first quarterback off the board, has been connected to the Raiders and the New York Giants (picking sixth), though a recent ESPN report said the Giants are less interested in the New Jersey native than many believe.

Missouri’s Drew Lock impressed at his pro day last week and has garnered some top-10 buzz, with some projecting him to go off the board ahead of Haskins. Gruden and his staff coached Lock at the Senior Bowl in late January.

Carr, who turns 28 on Thursday, is coming off a career high in passing yards (4,049) but a career low in touchdowns (19). He remains under contract for four more seasons, but the team could trade him this offseason and save $15 million of his $22.5 million cap figure.

If the Raiders chose to draft a top quarterback and move on from Carr next offseason, they could save $16.5 million of his $21.5 million cap figure for 2020.

Oakland also two other first-round picks in April’s draft, at Nos. 24 and 27.

–Field Level Media

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Eagles add veteran S Sendejo

Eagles add veteran S Sendejo

The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a one-year

Eagles add veteran S Sendejo

The Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a one-year deal with veteran strong safety Andrew Sendejo, the team announced Monday.

Sendejo spent the past eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. He became a free agent earlier this month when the Vikings declined the $5.5 million 2019 option on his contract.

Sendejo, 31, only played in five games last season due to a groin injury. He had 27 tackles.

Sendejo intercepted six passes and recovered three fumbles in 93 games (58 starts) for the Vikings. He also played in two games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2010.

The Eagles figure to use Sendejo as the third safety in the defense with Malcolm Jenkins set as the starting strong safety.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Saints restructure Brees’ contract, create $11M in cap space

Report: Saints restructure Brees’ contract, create $11M in cap space

Report: Saints restructure Brees’ contract, create $11M in cap space

The New Orleans Saints restructured quarterback Drew Brees’ contract in order to clear up $10.8 million in cap space for this season, NFL Network reported Thursday.

Brees will make $22.7 million in 2019, and the $10.8 million will get deferred to count against the team’s cap in 2020 to the tune of $21.3 million overall, whether the future Hall of Famer is on the team or not.

But it’s a win-now move for the Saints, who are reportedly trying to resign backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and make a play for free agent tight end Jared Cook.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Cowboys bring back WR Austin, sign DL Covington

Reports: Cowboys bring back WR Austin, sign DL Covington

The Cowboys and

Reports: Cowboys bring back WR Austin, sign DL Covington

The Cowboys and Tavon Austin have agreed on a one-year deal to keep the speedy wide receiver in Dallas, according to reports.

Austin played in just seven games due to injury last season, catching eight passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns. He could be in line for more targets now that Cole Beasley left the Cowboys for Buffalo.

Austin also ran the ball six times for 55 yards.

Austin has 14 career touchdowns in six NFL seasons, the first five of which came with the Rams.

The Cowboys also signed free agent defensive lineman Christian Covington to a one-year deal to bolster a line that will be without Randy Gregory and David Irving next season. Covington posted 7.5 sacks in 50 games with the Houston Texans over the past four seasons.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Big loss has Dolphins’ players wanting out

Report: Big loss has Dolphins' players wanting out

Whether the Miami Dolphins

Report: Big loss has Dolphins’ players wanting out

Whether the Miami Dolphins lost their season opener by 49 points because they had a bad week, or because the front office is resigned to losing as part of a rebuilding phase, multiple players reportedly want out — now.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, citing “a league source with knowledge of the situation,” reported Sunday that some players wasted little time after their 59-10 blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens in ordering their agents to get them traded elsewhere.

Suspicions have arisen that the Dolphins could be willing to lose so they get higher draft picks.

The speculation intensified on Aug. 31 when the Dolphins traded away tackle Laremy Tunsil, a first-round draft pick in 2016, and six-year veteran wide receiver Kenny Stills, to the Houston Texans, reportedly to receive first-round picks in 2020 and 2021, and a second rounder in 2021.

Miami’s talks with Houston were believed to have begun with the Dolphins asking about star edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney. But the Texans instead dealt Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks.

Brian Flores, the Dolphins’ first-year coach, has repeatedly said the franchise is not tanking — in effect, trying to lose to improve their draft selection — though such admissions are rare.

The Dolphins finished 7-9 last year, but were projected to be one of the league’s worst teams in 2019 by most NFL experts even before Sunday’s stinker and the ensuing mutiny reports.

–Field Level Media

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Patriots QB Brady (calf) limited at practice

Patriots QB Brady (calf) limited at practice


Patriots QB Brady (calf) limited at practice

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was limited at Wednesday’s practice due to a calf issue, according to the team’s injury report.

The nature of the injury or when Brady sustained it is unclear, but the Boston Herald reports it’s not “anything to worry about going forward.”

Asked if there was any concern with having his quarterback limited in practice, special teams ace Matthew Slater told reporters, “Not when your quarterback is Tom Brady.”

Also limited were offensive tackle Marcus Cannon (shoulder), newly signed offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch (calf) and tight end Matt LaCosse (ankle). Fullback James Develin (neck) sat out practice.

Meanwhile, Miami Dolphins linebacker Raekwon McMillan raised a few eyebrows when he told reporters Wednesday that an official told him to “stay off Tom” after he delivered a legal hit on Brady during Sunday’s game in Miami.

McMillan hit Brady as he was releasing a throw early in the second quarter, avoiding Brady’s head and pulling up rather than taking the quarterback to the ground. Brady remained down on the ground for a few seconds afterward, and referee Bill Vinovich and umpire Bruce Stritesky walked over toward him as he got up.

No penalty was called on McMillan. There were offsetting penalties for offensive and defensive holding elsewhere in the play.

–Field Level Media

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Shurmur non-committal on Eli Manning as Giants’ starter

Shurmur non-committal on Eli Manning as Giants' starter

Clamoring for

Shurmur non-committal on Eli Manning as Giants’ starter

Clamoring for first-round pick Daniel Jones is intense in New York, and Giants head coach Pat Shurmur did nothing to douse fans ready to see Eli Manning unseated as the starting quarterback.

Speaking Monday at his post mortem press conference after the Giants fell to 0-2, Shurmur didn’t commit to Manning as the starting quarterback for Week 3 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1).

“He’s been our starter to this point. I’m not ready to talk about that,” Shurmur said Monday afternoon, adding that the Giants would talk about “everything” moving forward.

“I think that’s fair at this point. To this point what we’ve done hasn’t been good enough.”

Jones was selected with the sixth overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He sparkled in the preseason, setting up a potential in-season conflict with Manning. Jones was 29-for-34 passing for 416 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions over four preseason games.

“The motivation is to win. Nothing more than that,” Manning said at his locker Monday after being informed of Shurmur’s message. ” … Nothing changes.”

After a loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Shurmur did not want to consider Jones as part of the game plan against the Buccaneers this week. But he shifted course again Monday.

Manning credited the Bills for causing the Giants into long third downs.

“When you’re 0-2, there’s pressure on everybody. You can’t have that affect you. I’ve got to make better throws, better plays, find ways to convert on third downs. That’s the quarterback’s job,” Manning said Sunday, adding that there is some frustration with the team starting 0-2.

“It’s not how you want to start. We’ve got to keep fighting, find ways to play better football. I know we can play better. i know we can do better than what we are,” he said.

Manning was without wide receivers Sterling Shepard (concussion) and Cody Latimer, who entered concussion protocol on Sunday.

“I thought a couple receivers, new guys who’ve been here just a couple of weeks, made some plays,” Manning said.

–Field Level Media

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Saints QB Brees leaves with thumb injury

Saints QB Brees leaves with thumb injury

Saints QB Brees leaves with thumb injury

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees left Sunday’s game against at Los Angeles Rams in the first quarter with an apparent right thumb injury.

Brees hit his right hand on Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s right hand while following through on an incomplete pass to Jared Cook on third-and-8 midway through the quarter. He went to the sidelines and tried a couple of throws before getting the thumb taped.

The team officially called it a hand injury and deemed Brees questionable to return.

Teddy Bridgewater entered with 3:29 remaining in the first quarter, and Brees remained on the sideline watching without a helmet.

Brees opened the game 3 of 5 for 38 yards and an interception before leaving.

The 40-year-old has missed just one game due to injury since joining the Saints in 2006, which came in 2015 due to a shoulder issue. He has missed just two other contests of a possible 210 with the Saints, both while resting in Week 17 with the team’s playoff position secure.

–Field Level Media

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