Murray measures 5-10, 207 pounds; reportedly won’t throw

Murray measures 5-10, 207 pounds; reportedly won’t throw

INDIANAPOLIS — Former Oklahoma star quarterback Kyler Murray already has exceeded expectations at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, measuring a bit over 5-foot-10 and weighing 207 pounds on Thursday morning.

Murray officially was listed at 5-10 at Oklahoma, but most expected him to come in slightly below that. Instead, he measured an eighth of an inch over 5-10. Likewise, his weight of 207 was 12 pounds over his listed weight with the Sooners, easing concerns about his frame being too slight to hold up to the punishment of the NFL.

Another worry was addressed when Murray’s hands measured at 9 1/2 inches, right around average among starting NFL quarterbacks. Many teams — especially those that play in cold weather — consider nine-inch hands or smaller to be an issue when it comes to ball security.

While Murray’s measurements were positive, some might not have had concerns about the undersized Heisman Trophy winner, anyway.

“I don’t know what the physical concerns are,” Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said Thursday, shortly before Murray’s measurements came out. “You talking about the height? I think that’s been proven to not be as much of a factor as maybe it was years ago. If you ask Russell Wilson, or (Drew) Brees or the kid in Cleveland (Baker Mayfield), I don’t know that it’s a true impact on the position or the performance.”

Denver Broncos general manager John Elway had a similar refrain Wednesday, though he suggested teams that operate more often under center might be less inclined to draft a shorter quarterback.

“Obviously, the size is always the question, but we’ve seen guys that have had success in the league that are not necessarily the prototypes as far as when it comes to height,” Elway said. “He’s got the ability to be a great player.

“I will say this, having played the position — if you’re shorter and in shotgun, you can see the field much better. If you are playing in shotgun every down, the height to me doesn’t have nearly the impact as it would coming out underneath.”

According to Elias, only five quarterbacks listed at 5-10 or under have attempted a pass in the NFL since 1960, with the last being Doug Flutie in 2005.

Meanwhile, NFL Network reported Thursday that Murray has told teams in meetings that he does not plan to throw when the quarterbacks take the field for workouts on Saturday.

The report added that Murray’s plans could change, but he currently doesn’t intend to do much. It’s unclear if Murray will run the 40-yard dash.

If he runs, Murray is expected to challenge for the fastest time of any prospect in Indianapolis.

–By David DeChant, Field Level Media

Report: Lions CB Slay will report to camp

Report: Lions CB Slay will report to camp

Detroit Lions

Report: Lions CB Slay will report to camp

Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay will attend training camp Wednesday despite his contract dispute, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection skipped a mandatory minicamp in June and missed voluntary workouts this spring, but sources told the Detroit Free Press and ESPN that Slay will not hold out.

Slay, 28, has tallied 17 interceptions and has broken up a league-high 91 passes since entering the NFL as a second-round pick in 2013.

Slay has two years remaining on a contract that will pay him $12.55 million in 2019 and $10 million in 2020.

Defensive tackle Damon Harrison, who like Slay is represented by agent Drew Rosenhaus, said Monday that he would also report to camp on time. Rosenhaus was reportedly scheduled to meet with Detroit officials this week.

–Field Level Media

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Report: QB Sanchez retiring to join ABC

Report: QB Sanchez retiring to join ABC

Quarterback Mark Sanchez is retiring after 10 years in

Report: QB Sanchez retiring to join ABC

Quarterback Mark Sanchez is retiring after 10 years in the NFL to join ABC’s college football coverage, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

Sanchez, 32, led the New York Jets to back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances in the 2009 and 2010 seasons and later played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and most recently the Washington Redskins in 2018.

According to the Post, he will replace Mack Brown in the ABC studio. Brown left to coach at North Carolina.

Sanchez compiled a 37-36 career record, completing 56.6 percent of his passes for 15,357 yards with 86 touchdowns and 89 interceptions.

His best years came with the Jets, who made “The Sanchize” the No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Southern California.

Sanchez set career highs in his third season with New York in 2011, throwing for 3,474 yards and 26 TDs.

He appeared in two games (one start) with Washington last season, completing 19 of 35 passes for 138 yards with three interceptions.

–Field Level Media

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Odds favor Pats as camps spring into action

Odds favor Pats as camps spring into action

All 32 NFL

Odds favor Pats as camps spring into action

All 32 NFL training camps will be open by the end of the week, with hope springing eternal for most every franchise before the live bullets start flying in September.

The New England Patriots may have lost future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski to retirement during another offseason that brought a bevy of changes to the two-deep. But with Tom Brady still calling the shots behind center and some deft moves to reload during free agency and the NFL Draft, the reigning champs open their training camp on Wednesday as the early favorites to take home another title in Super Bowl 54.

FanDuel lists the Patriots as 7/1 favorites, while PointsBet (6 1/2-1) and William Hill (5 1/2-1) have even more bullish odds. With big-play threat Tyreek Hill learning he will not be suspended to begin the season, the Kansas City Chiefs are the second betting favorite by all three books: 6-1 by William Hill and 8-1 by both FanDuel and PointsBet.

Where the differences start to come in is beyond the two AFC powers.

PointsBet has the New Orleans Saints at 9-1, with the next closest being the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Rams at 11-1. FanDuel has the same three teams from Nos. 3-5, with the Saints at 9-1, followed by the Rams (10/1) and the Colts, who are 14-1 along with the Philadelphia Eagles.

William Hill gives a nod at No. 3 to the Rams at 8 1/2-1, followed by the Saints (10-1) and then the Chicago Bears (11-1). The Colts are sixth at 12-1, followed by the Eagles (13-1)

The Cleveland Browns are the chic pick by many following an exciting close to 2018 and a slew of offseason changes highlighted by the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. They open camp at 14-1 by PointsBet and William Hill and 16-1 by FanDuel.

Looking for a longshot? William Hill is offering the Miami Dolphins at 200-1, while PointsBet and FanDuel list them at 150-1. You can also get 150 on the Cincinnati Bengals from PointsBet and William Hill. FanDuel is slightly more bullish on the Bengals’ prospects at 120-1.

NFL Super Bowl Winner Odds (PointsBet)

New England Patriots: +650

Kansas City Chiefs: +800

New Orleans Saints: +900

Indianapolis Colts: +1100

Los Angeles Rams: +1100

Cleveland Browns: +1400

Los Angeles Chargers: +1400

Chicago Bears: +1500

Philadelphia Eagles: +1500

Green Bay Packers: +1800

Pittsburgh Steelers: +2200

Dallas Cowboys: +2500

Minnesota Vikings: +2500

Seattle Seahawks: +2800

Atlanta Falcons: +3300

Houston Texans: +3500

Baltimore Ravens: +4000

Carolina Panthers: +4000

San Francisco 49ers: +4000

Jacksonville Jaguars: +4500

New York Jets: +5500

Tennessee Titans: +6000

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +8000

Denver Broncos: +9000

Arizona Cardinals: +10000

Buffalo Bills: +10000

Detroit Lions: +10000

New York Giants: +10000

Oakland Raiders: +10000

Washington Redskins: +10000

Cincinnati Bengals: +15000

Miami Dolphins: +15000

–Field Level Media

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Jets release RB Henderson

Jets release RB Henderson

Jets release RB Henderson

The New York Jets released running back De’Angelo Henderson on Tuesday.

The team needed to clear space on the 90-man training camp roster after signing tight end Ryan Griffin on Monday.

Henderson, 26, was Denver’s sixth-round pick in 2017. He rushed seven times for 13 yards and caught two passes for 36 yards and a touchdown with the Broncos in five games as a rookie.

He joined the Jets’ practice squad last September and was activated for three games, logging two carries for 19 yards.

–Field Level Media

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Falcons sign former Chiefs DE Bailey

Falcons sign former Chiefs DE Bailey

The

Falcons sign former Chiefs DE Bailey

The Atlanta Falcons agreed to terms with former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Allen Bailey on Tuesday.

The deal is for two years and $10.5 million, according to ESPN and the NFL Network.

Bailey, 30, tallied a career-high six sacks in 16 games (13 starts) for the Chiefs last season.

He played in 102 games (61 starts) and registered 19 1/2 sacks, 34 tackles for loss and 33 quarterback hits in eight seasons with the Chiefs.

A Georgia native, Bailey was Kansas City’s third-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Miami.

The signing came one day after defensive tackle Michael Bennett broke his ankle during the Falcons’ first practice of training camp.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Falcons sign DL Bailey

Reports: Falcons sign DL Bailey

Reports: Falcons sign DL Bailey

The Atlanta Falcons agreed to a two-year, $10.5 million deal with defensive lineman Allen Bailey on Monday, according to multiple media reports.

The deal includes $6 million in 2019 and $3.5 million guaranteed, per ESPN and NFL Network.

Bailey became a free agent in March but remained unsigned despite several reported visits, including with the Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots.

The 30-year-old posted six sacks and 10 quarterback hits in 16 games (13 starts) for the Kansas City Chiefs last season, playing end and tackle in their 3-4 scheme. He could contribute at both spots for the Falcons, who lost end Steven Means to a torn Achilles in May and tackle Michael Bennett to a reported broken ankle Monday, the first day of training camp.

Bailey has 19.5 career sacks and 33 QB hits in 102 games (61 starts), all spent in Kansas City. The Chiefs took him in the third round of the 2011 draft out of Miami (Fla.).

–Field Level Media

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Oakland Raiders training camp primer

Oakland Raiders training camp primer

New faces: WR Antonio Brown, OT Trent Brown, WR Tyrell Williams,

Oakland Raiders training camp primer

New faces: WR Antonio Brown, OT Trent Brown, WR Tyrell Williams, S LaMarcus Joyner, DE Clelin Ferrell, RB Josh Jacobs, S Jonathan Abram, LB Vontaze Burfict, G Richie Incognito, LB Brandon Marshall, RB Isaiah Crowell, CB Nevin Lawson, CB Trayvon Mullen, QB Mike Glennon

They’re gone: TE Jared Cook, G Kelechi Osemele, WR Jordy Nelson, OT Donald Penn, RB Marshawn Lynch, WR Seth Roberts, S Reggie Nelson, S Marcus Gilchrist, CB Rashaan Melvin

2019 snapshot: Never lacking for headlines, the Raiders had another eventful offseason that, in turn, landed them on HBO’s Hard Knocks for the first time.

Jon Gruden’s hire of GM Mike Mayock was surprising, but Mayock’s eye for talent is well regarded. The pair then embarked on an aggressive search for talent while simultaneously touting culture and then disregarding it.

The Raiders justified taking Ferrell fourth overall — a reach on almost any draft board — by lauding his impeccable character, even after the team added talented-but-disruptive veterans in Antonio Brown and Burfict (and later Incognito). Oakland’s other first-round picks (Jacobs and Abram) were better values, but both play positions of relatively low value, and it’s hard to imagine either bringing sufficient return for the trading away of Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack.

Oakland’s spending spree in free agency drew some criticism, as Trent Brown (four years, $66 million), Joyner (four years, $42 million) and Williams (four years, $43 million) were all handsomely overpaid. However, the Raiders smartly structured deals to be escaped after one or two years with minimal cap consequences. The same was true of Antonio Brown’s new deal (three years, $50.1 million), which can be chopped easily after two years if things go south.

Those deals were still too rich, but there are much worse uses of cap space.

Worth the investment?

–Even if things don’t click with all the new arrivals, the Raiders have enough talent to reach their over/under of six wins. Betting on more is reasonable but not without risk.

–It wasn’t that long ago (mid-2016) that Derek Carr was getting peripheral MVP buzz. That was clearly premature, but his 100-1 odds to win it in 2019 might be worth a shot.

Bottom line: The Raiders were hypocritical in emphasizing character and handed out some massive salaries, but they also made major talent upgrades, especially if Antonio Brown pans out.

–Field Level Media

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Los Angeles Chargers training camp primer

Los Angeles Chargers training camp primer

New faces: LB Thomas Davis, QB Tyrod Taylor, DT

Los Angeles Chargers training camp primer

New faces: LB Thomas Davis, QB Tyrod Taylor, DT Jerry Tillery, S Nasir Adderley, P Tyler Newsome

They’re gone: WR Tyrell Williams, DT Corey Liuget, S Jahleel Addae, CB Jason Verrett, DT Darius Philon, P Donnie Jones

2019 snapshot: Already one of the better teams in the AFC, the Chargers didn’t need any remodeling this spring, instead focusing on minor touchups.

They found much-needed talent and depth at linebacker, re-signing Denzel Perryman (two years, $12 million) and adding Davis (two years, $10.5 million) on very reasonable deals. Dime safety Adrian Phillips (one year, $2 million) was also retained for cheap, giving coordinator Gus Bradley several options to cover tight ends and running backs.

GM Tom Telesco addressed the D-line by keeping Brandon Mebane (two years, $10.6 million) and drafting Tillery, whose upside is among the highest of any prospect in the 2019 draft class. He then found a perfect partner for Derwin James in Adderley (second round), who has the speed and ball skills to patrol center field while James hunts in the box.

Williams’ departure was inevitable (and should bring a fourth-round compensatory pick). While another body at wide receiver would have helped, Mike Williams, Travis Benjamin and Dylan Cantrell should be able to pick up the slack. The O-line could have used an upgrade or two — guards Dan Feeney and Michael Schofield and right tackle Sam Tevi struggled at times last year — but continuity usually breeds improvement up front, and there’s still hope for 2017 second-rounder Forrest Lamp to develop.

Worth the investment?

–Taking the over on the Chargers’ 10-win total is scary given their rotten luck in recent years, but this team is good enough to win 13 or even 14.

–Philip Rivers has never won MVP, garnering only two votes when he led the NFL in passer rating in 2008. But there are worse bets than his +2000 odds.

Bottom line: Two wins from the Super Bowl a year ago, the Chargers didn’t mess with the formula and still found a few upgrades. They should threaten in the playoffs yet again.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings sign long snapper/Air Force 2d Lt. Cutting

Vikings sign long snapper/Air Force 2d Lt. Cutting

Austin Cutting

Vikings sign long snapper/Air Force 2d Lt. Cutting

Austin Cutting has two new jobs.

The 21-year-old Texas native is an acquisitions officer for the Air Force, and he also signed a contract with the Minnesota Vikings on Monday to be a long snapper.

The Vikings made him a seventh-round draft pick (250th overall) out of the Air Force Academy in April.

Cutting, a second lieutenant, will be allowed to serve his two-year military commitment while simultaneous playing in the NFL, the (Saint Paul, Minn.) Pioneer Press reported Sunday.

According to the newspaper, Cutting was set to receive a four-year, $2.59 million contract, including a $74,576 signing bonus.

The Air Force plans to employ Cutting as a recruiting officer, according to his agent, Darren Deloatche.

“(Cutting is) thankful,” Deloatche told the Pioneer Press. “It’s a weight off his shoulders at this stage. … He’s definitely excited about this opportunity to compete in the NFL right now. … But he wants to serve his country.”

The Vikings reported that Cutting will challenge incumbent Kevin McDermott for the role as the team’s long snapper.

With Cutting and New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and outside linebacker Oshane Ximines signing Monday, only four of this year’s draft picks remain unsigned: San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (first round), New York Jets defensive linemen Quinnen Williams (first round), Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns (first round) and 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (second round).

–Field Level Media

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Giants sign first-round QB Jones

Giants sign first-round QB Jones

The New York Giants agreed to terms Monday with their first-round pick,

Giants sign first-round QB Jones

The New York Giants agreed to terms Monday with their first-round pick, quarterback Daniel Jones, multiple outlets reported.

Based on his draft slot, Jones’ deal will be worth more than $25 million over four years. Like all first-round picks, his deal has a fifth-year team option.

Jones, 22, was the No. 6 overall pick after passing for 8,201 yards and 52 touchdowns in 36 games at Duke from 2016-18. He was the second quarterback off the board, following No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray to the Arizona Cardinals.

Jones is expected to be on the field when the Giants open training camp Thursday in East Rutherford, N.J. Also present will be third-round outside linebacker Oshane Ximines, who signed his deal earlier Monday.

Jones’ and Ximines’ signings leave only four unsigned draft picks: San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (No. 2 overall), New York Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (No. 3), Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns (No. 16) and 49ers wideout Deebo Samuel (No. 36 overall).

–Field Level Media

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Kansas City Chiefs training camp primer

Kansas City Chiefs training camp primer

New faces: DE

Kansas City Chiefs training camp primer

New faces: DE Frank Clark, S Tyrann Mathieu, DE Alex Okafor, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, RB Carlos Hyde, CB Bashaud Breeland, LB Darron Lee, LB Damien Wilson, S Juan Thornhill, WR Mecole Hardman, DT Khalen Saunders

They’re gone: OLB Dee Ford, OLB Justin Houston, S Eric Berry, C Mitch Morse, DT Allen Bailey, CB Steven Nelson, TE Demetrius Harris, WR Chris Conley, RB Spencer Ware, S Eric Murray, S Ron Parker

2019 snapshot: The team that came thisclose to a Super Bowl appearance didn’t rest on its laurels, instead churning the coaching staff and roster, particularly on defense.

Steve Spagnuolo replaced fired D-coordinator Bob Sutton, while Clark, Mathieu and Okafor/Ogbah step in for departed Pro Bowlers Ford, Berry and Houston, respectively. At best, those changes feel like a wash, especially because Clark and Mathieu have higher salaries than their counterparts (and acquiring Clark cost Kansas City its first-round pick).

The defense added enough talent to improve, depending on how quickly the group clicks under Spagnuolo, but there are still concerns. Unless Breeland returns to his form from Washington, cornerback remains a question mark. There’s also no dangerous edge-rushing threat other than Clark. Chris Jones could hold out while seeking a massive extension entering a contract year, and locking him up is imperative after trading Ford and releasing Houston.

The Chiefs caught a break when Tyreek Hill avoided league punishment following a child and family services investigation. The pick of Hardman (second round) provided some insurance, but Hill’s role as a centerpiece in Andy Reid’s offense would have been impossible to fill if he missed time. The offense made few other additions while losing its starting center (Morse) and a few role players, and all numbers suggest at least slight regression from 2018’s heights.

–Patrick Mahomes’ sudden stardom makes the Chiefs an annual favorite for double-digit wins. Taking the over on 10.5 wins always carries risk, but this team is a good bet.

–Battling voter fatigue and year-to-year regression, only Peyton Manning (who did it twice) has won back-to-back MVPs since 1996. We’d steer clear of Mahomes’ +450 odds (best by 200) to repeat.

Bottom line: The Chiefs clearly worked to improve on defense, but the upgrades appear marginal for now. They remain Super Bowl contenders but might have to keep winning shootouts.

–Field Level Media

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Philadelphia Eagles training camp primer

Philadelphia Eagles training camp primer

New faces: DT Malik Jackson, WR

Philadelphia Eagles training camp primer

New faces: DT Malik Jackson, WR DeSean Jackson, RB Jordan Howard, DE Vinny Curry, LB Zach Brown, OT Andre Dillard, RB Miles Sanders, WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside, S Andrew Sendejo, LB L.J. Fort,

They’re gone: QB Nick Foles, DE Michael Bennett, WR Golden Tate, LB Jordan Hicks, DE Chris Long, DT Haloti Ngata, WR Jordan Matthews, RB Darren Sproles

2019 snapshot: One of the few teams in the league without any real glaring holes to fill, Philadelphia entered the offseason with plenty of flexibility and put it to good use.

Three former Eagles — DeSean Jackson, Curry and Timmy Jernigan — were brought back for cheap, and GM Howie Roseman also signed two former Pro Bowl defenders who were released (Malik Jackson, Brown). Bennett (traded to New England) and Long (retired) will be missed, but Curry, a healthy Derek Barnett and a freshly paid Brandon Graham should be sufficient on the edge.

Roseman also had a great draft, starting with a mini trade-up past Houston to nab Jason Peters’ successor in Dillard. He acquired Howard for cheap (2020 conditional sixth-rounder) and drafted offensive contributors in Sanders and Arcega-Whiteside, both of whom could have roles from Day 1. The Eagles are also in line for more draft capital in 2020 thanks to the compensatory pick formula.

Foles’ departure was unavoidable, but the Eagles drafted Clayton Thorson and moved quickly to extend Carson Wentz. That extension — while complicated in structure — looks like a clear win for the team. Any deal would carry some risk given Wentz’s injury history, but if he remains healthy moving forward, Philadelphia will have one of the league’s best quarterbacks on a deal significantly short of the top of the market.

Worth the investment?

–After 13 wins in 2017 and nine last season, the Eagles’ over/under is set at 10 this year. Wentz’s injury history isn’t enough to shy away from the over.

–Wentz was likely headed for his first MVP award before tearing his ACL late in 2017. Betting on him to do so this year at +1500 is a fair wager.

Bottom line: Few GMs in the business are better than Roseman, who put together another strong offseason with a clear and coherent plan. There’s no reason the Eagles shouldn’t compete for a Super Bowl appearance.

–Field Level Media

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New York Giants training camp primer

New York Giants training camp primer

New faces:

New York Giants training camp primer

New faces: WR Golden Tate, QB Daniel Jones, OG Kevin Zeitler, S Jabrill Peppers, OT Mike Remmers, OLB Markus Golden, S Antoine Bethea, DT Dexter Lawrence, CB Deandre Baker, DT Olsen Pierre, DE Oshane Ximines, CB Julian Love

They’re gone: WR Odell Beckham Jr., S Landon Collins, OLB Olivier Vernon, OLB Connor Barwin, G Jamon Brown, DT Mario Edwards, CB B.W. Webb, DT Kerry Wynn

2019 snapshot: For someone who once said “you don’t quit on talent,” GM Dave Gettleman sent an awfully large amount of it out the door this offseason.

Beckham, Collins and Vernon — arguably three of the team’s four best players — are gone, with only Peppers, Lawrence (first round), Ximines (third), Zeitler and a 2020 third-round compensatory pick in return. Pretty much any way you slice it, that’s a poor tradeoff. Even if you agree with trading Beckham, spending $21.5 million on him just months before the trade is indefensible. Collins likely would have had trade value had the Giants simply franchise-tagged him.

Gettleman drew more ire by drafting Jones sixth overall, a reach on almost any board. The GM deserves credit for ensuring he landed the quarterback he wanted, but Jones carries plenty of concerns, including a perceived lower ceiling than Dwayne Haskins or Drew Lock.

Among the Giants’ other moves, Tate’s contract (four years, $37.5 million) seemed a bit oversized for a player who appears redundant with newly extended slot wideout Sterling Shepard (four years, $41 million) already on the roster. One-year pacts for Golden and Remmers look like possible bargains, and the draft brought plenty of reinforcements on defense. But that’s not enough to redeem what was otherwise an alarming approach from Gettleman.

–Big Blue clearly downgraded in talent, but bottoming out appears unlikely. The Giants look like a sneaky bet to hit the over if you can find a line at 5.5 wins instead of six.

–Adrian Peterson (2012) is the lone running back to win MVP since 2006, and that required nearly breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record. We’d pass on Saquon Barkley (+5000), even though he should get plenty of volume.

Bottom line: Unless Jones sees the field and shows promise — which might only happen once the Giants are out of contention — Gettleman looks to be in for a long season.

–Field Level Media

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Indianapolis Colts training camp primer

Indianapolis Colts training camp primer

New faces: DE Justin

Indianapolis Colts training camp primer

New faces: DE Justin Houston, WR Devin Funchess, RB Spencer Ware, CB Rock Ya-Sin, LB Ben Banogu, WR Parris Campbell, LB Bobby Okereke

They’re gone: WR Dontrelle Inman, DT Al Woods, WR Ryan Grant, S J.J. Wilcox, G Matt Slauson, S Mike Mitchell

2019 snapshot: With more than $45 million still remaining in cap space, the Colts certainly could have gone bigger in free agency.

Trey Flowers, Earl Thomas, Ndamukong Suh and Le’Veon Bell were all realistic options, and Indianapolis probably could have nabbed two of them. But GM Chris Ballard is committed to smart, patient building, and it’s hard to question that approach after he orchestrated the Colts’ bounce-back season in 2018.

Ballard did pay up for Houston (two years, $24 million), who immediately brings a pass-rush presence the team hasn’t had since Robert Mathis retired, and on extensions for CBs Pierre Desir (three years, $22.5 million) and Kenny Moore (four years, $34 million). He also kept S Clayton Geathers (one year, $2.8 million) and DT Margus Hunt (two years, $9 million) on modest deals. The biggest surprise was the one-year, $10 million deal (with $3 million in incentives) for Funchess, who fell out of favor in Carolina.

Ballard didn’t do anything fancy in the draft, either, trading down a few times to collect a war chest of picks and spending them mostly on defensive talents. Ya-Sin, Okereke and Banogu will compete to start from Day 1, with all likely to have at least a rotational role early on. The lone offensive pick, Campbell, will be one of Frank Reich’s favorite weapons, with wheels to terrify defenses on the speedy Lucas Oil Stadium turf.

Worth the investment?

–The Colts have come a long way, going from 1-5 last season to being one of seven teams this year with a double-digit over/under win total (10). They’re capable of topping that mark, but 11 wins is a lot for any team.

–Yet to win an MVP in his career, Andrew Luck seems destined for one sooner or later. Unfortunately, Vegas feels the same way, putting his odds (+650) behind only reigning winner Patrick Mahomes (+450).

Bottom line: If Indy’s Super Bowl window were closing, you could question Ballard’s lack of aggression this offseason. But it’s not, and the Colts might still wind up in Miami in February anyway.

–Field Level Media

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Houston Texans training camp primer

Houston Texans training camp primer

New faces: S Tashaun

Houston Texans training camp primer

New faces: S Tashaun Gipson, CB Bradley Roby, OT Matt Kalil, OT Tytus Howard, OL Max Scharping, S Jahleel Addae, CB Lonnie Johnson, TE Darren Fells, TE Kahale Warring

They’re gone: S Tyrann Mathieu, CB Kareem Jackson, WR Demaryius Thomas, OT Kendall Lamm, CB Kevin Johnson, TE Ryan Griffin, DT Christian Covington, RB Alfred Blue, CB Kayvon Webster

Firing GM Brian Gaine 17 months into a five-year contract was certainly cause for concern. Gaine wasn’t given the resources nor the time to prove he was the wrong man for the job, and the Texans weren’t able to pry Nick Caserio from New England (yet) to replace him, choosing to go without a GM for the 2019 season.

How will they navigate without a GM? Will the post remain open until Caserio’s Patriots contract is up after the 2020 draft?

Either way, many of the Texans’ moves this spring were curious. Set on improving Deshaun Watson’s protection, Houston focused on offensive tackle but might not have made large enough gains.

Free agent signee Kalil is a liability even when healthy. In the draft, the Texans were jumped by the Eagles for Andre Dillard and then took Howard 23rd overall, a significant reach on most boards for the Alabama State product. Scharping (second round, Northern Illinois) provides another option, but trusting small-school rookies to play early is dangerous.

The secondary turned over without really improving, as Gipson, Roby and Lonnie Johnson must make up for the more proven trio of Mathieu, Jackson and Kevin Johnson. Franchise-tagged linebacker Jadeveon Clowney remains away from the team and without a long-term contract, and the roster has other weak spots (tight end, guard) despite the Texans still holding $40 million in cap space.

Worth the investment?

–After winning 11 games and their division last season, the Texans should probably top their 8-win over/under, but a disappointing season is certainly possible given the improved AFC South.

–Watson has the star power and talent to win MVP, and his odds are rather enticing. At +3300, he’s even with Jimmy Garoppolo and a longer shot than Mitchell Trubisky (+2000).

Bottom line: The Texans don’t look all that improved, and they enter the year without a GM, which puts just about anything on the table.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Redskins OT Williams to hold out

NFL notebook: Redskins OT Williams to hold out

NFL notebook: Redskins OT Williams to hold out

Washington Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams is not expected to report to training camp with the rest of the team this week, NFL Network reported Monday.

Williams missed mandatory minicamp in June, and his absence is expected to extend well into training camp, per the report.

“This could take awhile before Trent Williams is back in Washington, if at all,” NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo said on Training Camp Live. “It just really seems like an open-ended thing right now.”

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport added that Williams’ motivations are two-fold, relating to concerns with the team’s medical staff after a tumor scare earlier this offseason and also to his contract, for which he wants at least an “alteration.”

–Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott has not ruled out a holdout during training camp as the sides explore the possibility of a new contract, NFL Network reported.

Rapoport said “all options are on the table,” and the fourth-year running back “still has not yet firmly decided whether or not he is going to hold out.”

Elliott still has two years remaining on his rookie contract. He will make $3.85 million in the upcoming season, with an option in 2020 for $9.1 million.

–The NFL suspended Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed six games without pay for violating the personal conduct policy.

Reed was disciplined for an incident in Bellevue, Wash., on April 27, 2017, according to multiple reports. A woman filed a complaint of assault against Reed. Prosecutors investigated and declined to press charges.

NFL Network reported that Reed’s appeal of the suspension was denied on Friday.

–New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman has a finger injury and will be out about three weeks, ESPN reported.

Over the weekend, Edelman had a brace on his left thumb while working at his youth camp, and whether the thumb was broken wasn’t clear. The Patriots open training camp later this week in Foxborough, Mass.

–New Detroit Lions defensive end Trey Flowers will start training camp on the shelf with a shoulder injury, per multiple reports.

Flowers, who signed a five-year, $90 million contract in March, had what was described as a minor shoulder procedure after the Super Bowl in February.

Meanwhile, defensive tackle Damon Harrison told NFL Network he’ll report for training camp after sitting out offseason workouts in search of a new deal. Detroit opens training camp on Thursday.

–The Atlanta Falcons lost defensive tackle Michael Bennett and safety J.J. Wilcox to serious injuries on the first day of training camp, according to multiple reports from NFL Network.

Bennett is out indefinitely with a broken ankle, while Wilcox tore his ACL and will miss the 2019 season, NFL Network reported. Both players were competing for rotational roles on defense.

–DJ Durkin, ousted as Maryland’s football coach after the death of one of his players, is working as a training camp assistant coach with the Falcons.

Durkin was one of four camp-only coaches announced by head coach Dan Quinn, ESPN reported.

–The New York Jets signed former Houston Texans tight end Ryan Griffin to fill in for the recently suspended Chris Herndon.

Earlier this month, the NFL suspended Herndon for the first four games of the 2019 season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He pleaded guilty in January to a 2018 DWI charge.

Meanwhile, Jets safety Marcus Maye was placed on the PUP list as he continues to recover from shoulder and thumb injuries from last season.

–The Tennessee Titans placed defensive tackle Jurrell Casey, tight end Jonnu Smith and kicker Ryan Succop on the PUP list.

Casey and Smith are still recovering from late-season knee injuries — Casey reportedly had a sprained MCL, while Smith tore his MCL — and Succop missed all offseason work with an undisclosed issue. The team also placed first-rounder Jeffery Simmons, who tore his ACL in February, on the non-football injury list.

–The Buffalo Bills placed running back Frank Gore on the NFI list and tight end Tyler Kroft on the PUP list.

Gore’s injury is unknown but not believed to be serious. Kroft broke his foot on the first day of OTAs. Both players joined the team in March via free agency.

–Green Bay Packers first-round safety Darnell Savage was placed on the NFI list after having his wisdom teeth pulled, ESPN reported.

–Jacksonville Jaguars undrafted rookie safety Zedrick Woods filed retirement papers with the NFL, The Athletic reported.

Woods is battling turf toe, according to agent Ron Butler. He had surprised teams by running the fastest 40-yard dash (4.29) at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine.

–The Minnesota Vikings waived running back Roc Thomas and signed guard Tiano Pupungatoa.

Thomas is suspended for the season’s first three games after pleading guilty to a marijuana charge earlier this year.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Redskins’ Williams to hold out of camp

Report: Redskins' Williams to hold out of camp

Report: Redskins’ Williams to hold out of camp

Washington Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams is not expected to report to training camp with the rest of the team later this week, NFL Network reported Monday.

Williams missed a mandatory minicamp in June and his absence is expected to extend well into training camp, per the report.

“This could take awhile before Trent Williams is back in Washington, if at all,” NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo said on Training Camp Live. “It just really seems like an open-ended thing right now.”

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport added that Williams’ motivations are two-fold, relating to concerns with the team’s medical staff after a tumor scare earlier this offseason and also to his contract, for which he wants at least an “alteration.”

Williams had surgery in April to remove a tumor from his scalp, after there were initial concerns that the tumor could be malignant. It was not, and he was expected to recover in time for the regular season, but CBS Sports reported in June that Williams wanted out of Washington because of how the medical staff handled the situation.

Rapoport and Garafolo reported Monday that Williams has since had a second surgery to address a cosmetic issue with the original wound and could still have more operations. That could mean he wouldn’t be cleared to practice anyway, even if present at training camp.

“I know Trent knows how much we need him and want him back,” head coach Jay Gruden told reporters in June. “That’s the only thing I can do from here. As far as what happened with him and the doctors, that’s between he and the doctors, and hopefully we get that cleared up soon.”

As for Williams’ contract, he has two years and $24 million remaining — including base salaries of $11 million in 2019 and $12.5 million in 2020 — on a five-year, $68 million deal signed in 2015. Six offensive tackles have since exceeded Williams’ $13.6 million annual average, led by Oakland’s Trent Brown at $16.5 million.

Williams, who turned 31 on Friday, has reached seven consecutive Pro Bowls. He has been with the Redskins since 2010, when they took him fourth overall in the NFL draft.

Reliable swing tackle Ty Nsekhe left Washington for Buffalo during free agency. Former New York Giants first-round pick Ereck Flowers has been working as the first-team left tackle, and 2018 third-rounder Geron Christian is also competing for the swing tackle job.

–Field Level Media

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Falcons’ Bennett breaks ankle on first day of camp

Falcons' Bennett breaks ankle on first day of camp

Falcons’ Bennett breaks ankle on first day of camp

Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Michael Bennett suffered a broken ankle Monday in the first practice of training camp, NFL Network reported.

Bennett, 26, played in two games for the Falcons last season and was expected to compete for a primary role in the defensive-line rotation. He is out indefinitely.

Drafted in the sixth round by Jacksonville in 2015 out of Ohio State, Bennett played in 13 games with the Jaguars as a rookie and appeared in one game in 2017 when he struggled with chest and groin injuries. He also missed the entire 2016 season due to a calf injury.

He has tallied 16 tackles, two tackles for a loss and half a sack in 16 career NFL games.

It is the second major injury to the Falcons’ defensive line. Defensive end Steven Means suffered a torn Achilles tendon during organized team activities in May.

–Field Level Media

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Jets sign former Texans TE Griffin

Jets sign former Texans TE Griffin

The New York Jets

Jets sign former Texans TE Griffin

The New York Jets signed former Houston Texans tight end Ryan Griffin on Monday to fill in for the recently suspended Chris Herndon.

Earlier this month, the NFL suspended Herndon for the first four games of the 2019 season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He pleaded guilty in January to a 2018 DWI charge.

Griffin, 29, caught 136 passes for 1,491 yards and seven touchdowns in 77 games (36 starts) with the Texans from 2013-18.

He made a career-high 11 starts in 2018 and caught 24 passes for 305 yards.

Griffin’s six-year run in Houston ended abruptly in May when he was cut by the Texans after getting arrested in Nashville, Tenn., during the NFL draft. Charges of vandalism for breaking a hotel window and public intoxication were later dismissed.

–Field Level Media

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Lions DE Flowers to PUP, DT Harrison to report

Lions DE Flowers to PUP, DT Harrison to report

Lions DE Flowers to PUP, DT Harrison to report

New Detroit Lions defensive end Trey Flowers will start training camp on the shelf with a shoulder injury, per multiple reports Monday.

On the bright side, the Lions will get back defensive tackle Damon Harrison, who told NFL Network he’ll report for training camp after sitting out offseason workouts in search of a new deal.

Flowers, an end and linebacker in the 3-4 defense, signed as a big-ticket prize in free agency in March. He left the New England Patriots, where he began his career as a protege of current Lions head coach Matt Patricia.

Flowers underwent what was described as a minor shoulder procedure at the end of the 2018 postseason. But starting training camp on the physically unable to perform list could be an ominous, unexpected signal of Flowers’ health. The Detroit Free Press was the first outlet to identify the nature of Flowers’ current injury.

Detroit opens training camp on Thursday.

The Lions spent almost all of last season without their prized pass rusher, Ziggy Ansah, who was playing on the one-year franchise tender but battled shoulder issues all year.

Flowers came in to replace Ansah, signing a five-year, $90 million deal to unite with Patricia. Flowers had 57 tackles for the Patriots last season and a career-best 7 1/2 sacks. He has 164 career tackles and 21 sacks in 46 games (37 starts) over four seasons.

Harrison, 30, was acquired for a fifth-round pick from the New York Giants last October and totaled 50 tackles (five for loss) with 3.5 sacks and seven QB hits in 10 games with the Lions. One of the game’s premier run-stuffers, he earned All-Pro honors in 2016 and hasn’t missed a game since 2012.

The eighth-year veteran has two years and $16.25 million remaining on his contract.

It’s unknown if the Lions’ other prominent offseason holdout, cornerback Darius Slay, also plans to report to training camp. Slay has two years and $23.5 million remaining on his contract.

Drew Rosenhaus, the agent for both Harrison and Slay, reportedly met with the Lions this week.

–Field Level Media

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