NFL says Dez Bryant, Jesse James plays would be catches under new rule

Two of the most controversial plays in recent NFL history would have gone the other way if the proposed new catch rule had been in effect.

NFL head of officiating Al Riveron tweeted that the infamous Dez Bryant non-catch against the Packers in the 2014 playoffs, and the infamous Jesse James non-catch against the Patriots in the 2017 season, both would have been complete under the new catch rule.

II I do believe there is another frontier for me beyond television. —Troy Aikman, to The Doomsday Podcast , hosted by Ed Werder and Matt Mosley. Aikman, the former quarterback turned Fox analyst, is covering the draft for Fox for the first time, analyzing the quarterbacks. He went to pro days for Darnold and Allen, and said on the podcast that experience has amplified his continued interest in potentially running an NFL team in the future. III My dearest Darcy, I can’t tell you how much joy and pride I have in the way you are living.

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles understands that when Carson Wentz comes back healthy, Wentz will be the starter again.

But Nick Foles is still human, so he can admit being a little torn.

I know there was some stuff going around, a possible trade, and I would love the opportunity to be a starter again. I know my spot in Philly. I think I’ve shown what I can do. Foles said during an interview with KVUE in Texas, via Philly.com. I’m signed for one more year and I love the team, I love the city. I’m excited for Carson [Wentz] to get back on his feet. I’ll be ready to go whenever they need me. But we’ll see.dolphins_098 dolphins_097

Dez Bryant’s No. 1 factor in choosing a new team should be quarterback

If Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant has lost a step and/or other physical attributes after eight NFL seasons, it’s true that quarterback Dak Prescott had no role in the veteran’s release. If Bryant can still play like he used to, Prescott definitely had a hand in the divorce, because it was Prescott’s reluctance to throw the ball to Bryant that kept Bryant from producing in a way that justified his status and salary as a No. 1 receiver.

And so, as Bryant looks for a new team on a belated basis, his No. 1 factor should be finding a quarterback who will throw the ball in his direction far more frequently that Dak did.

The Titans were busy in NFL free agency, adding running back Dion Lewis and cornerback Malcolm Butler. As yet another team handing its base 3-4 defense over to a new coordinator in Dean Pees, Tennessee with this pick has a chance to pile on the pass rush behind Derrick Morgan (29) and Brian Orakpo (31), both of whom become free agents in 2019. Hubbard has a nose for the QB no matter how he’s aligned.

Dontari Poe is gone, and Athyba Rubin and Courtney Upshaw are not under contract, either. So the Falcons need a versatile, explosive option for their defensive line rotation to support tackle Grady Jarrett. Payne is the best fit for Atlanta should he slip this far, but Bryan would be a nice consolation prize.

The Devils selected Anderson with the 73rd overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. The third-round selection was the Devils’ third player taken in the Draft behind  Michael McLeod and Nathan Bastian.

Anderson recently finished his sophomore season at Minnesota-Duluth, where he helped the team win the NCAA title. He finished with 27 points in 36 games.

Anderson was also named captain of Team USA during the World Junior Championships .

While Anderson could play with the Devils in the 2017-18 playoffs, the Devils certainly added another future forward option to the organization at the start of next season.

The right wing possesses plenty of offensive skill that earned him spots on the past two Team USA World Junior Championship rosters, and during each of his two collegiate seasons, he reached the NCAA Frozen Four with Minnesota-Duluth.dolphins_303

Patriots in a good position to find QB in upcoming NFL Draft

On Friday, Bill Belichick wouldn’t say whether he expects Tom Brady to play until he’s 45. He also wouldn’t say whether he expects the Patriots to draft a quarterback in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft.

If one thing is certain, however, it’s that the Patriots have put themselves in position to draft an heir apparent to their future Hall of Famer. Armed with five picks in the first three rounds this year, this draft is an important one for a Patriots team searching for help and potentially, someone to be the future of their franchise.

When asked if the Pats will take a quarterback in two weeks, Belichick said, “We’ll do what’s best for the football team. We’ll look at our opportunities and do what’s best.”

When asked if he knew how long Brady would play, Belichick responded, “I’m happy to answer the draft questions. I’m not going get into everything else here.”

This offseason, however, the Patriots are connected with a laundry list of quarterbacks.

NFL Competition Committee Chair Rich McKay said he’d like to see assistant coaches allowed to sign their contracts to become head coaches with new teams, and then turn their attention back to their current teams in the playoffs, rather than being constantly distracted by questions about their new teams.

“Every year it’s become harder as the media pays more focus to those coaches and who may be going where,” McKay said. “For too many years we’ve tried to hold that line on you can’t sign a contract but you can have an understanding. We just felt like we need to get over that hurdle and say you can sign a contract. It doesn’t mean you can work, but you can sign the contract.”

Although the league is officially denying that this is a “Josh McDaniels Rule,” the reality is that’s exactly what it is: A rule to ensure that in the future, teams like the Colts aren’t left holding the bag.dolphins_001

Steelers’ 2018 draft picks: Projecting first-rounder, late-round sleepers

The Steelers have the No. 28 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. That said, this isn’t a luxury draft for a franchise that finished 13-3 before its loss to Jacksonville in the AFC divisional playoffs.

Veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is inching closer to retirement, and there is uncertainty around running back Le’Veon Bell’s contract situation. The defense has a few holes to fill, too.

He’s an all-around linebacker who totaled 141 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks and two interceptions last season for the Broncos. He also tests comparable to Shazier, especially in the three-cone drill and the 20-yard shuttle. That’s exactly what Pittsburgh needs in this draft. Alabama’s Rashaan Evans would be the other option at No. 28.

What if those top linebackers are gone by the time the Steelers are on the clock? This could be the spot where Pittsburgh takes a quarterback. Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph should be available, but if Louisville’s Lamar Jackson is there, too, that’s a pick the Steelers should entertain.

Below is a breakdown of the Redskins’ 2018 schedule. Details of Washington’s regular-season schedule, including dates and kickoff times, will be added when the NFL makes them available.

Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans

Toughest tests: Nobody likes having to play in the Superdome, where the Saints will be difficult to beat. The Redskins have to play another road game in a dome when they face the Cardinals in Arizona, not to mention their annual trip to Dallas to face the Cowboys. Seven of the 10 non-divisional opponents on Washington’s schedule are strong playoff contenders. And the Colts, Cardinals and Buccaneers won’t be push-overs.seahawks_053

Buffalo Bills named a best fit for former Cowboys WR Dez Bryant

Could Dez Bryant throw up the X at New Era Field in 2018? It’s certainly possible after the Dallas Cowboys released the veteran receiver.

The Buffalo Bills have multiple holes entering the 2018 NFL Draft and wide receiver is high among the list of positions that need the most help. Some may argue that Bryant isn’t a fit on Sean McDermott’s team, but ESPN could see the receiver landing in Buffalo.

ESPN’s NFL Nation writers came up with four teams that were viewed as best fits for Bryant. The first team on the list was Buffalo. ESPN’s Mike Rodak said the following about the Bills potentially signing the wide receiver.

Stanton’s mission this week will beating his former club. These are very important games because the Yankees are third in the AL East with a 7-7 record and already trailing the first-place Boston Red Sox by 5 1/2 games.

We’ve got to win these games,” Stanton said.

Several 49ers cornerbacks from last year’s roster are free agents and the team signed Richard Sherman shortly after he was released by the Seahawks.

Breaux started all 16 games for the Saints in 2015, but missed 10 games in 2016 and all of last season with injuries.

With Jannik Hansen’s return to the lineup last Saturday, the team was carrying 14 healthy forwards.Lovelocke Lovelocke was a four-year starter for the PVAMU Panthers, completing 57 percent of his senior-year passes with a 16 TD-to-INT ratio and ten additional rushing scores.He can go from fourth line to your top line.McCombs flipped a shot over Carlisle’s shoulder the first period to give the Trojans a 1 lead, but five minutes later West’s cleaned up a rebound created by Tirrell to knot the score.He spent the year working San, trying — as he has the last 15 years — to get a done.seahawks_104

Ravens schedule 2018: Baltimore must take advantage of friendly home slate

The Ravens’ 2018 schedule marks the start of John Harbaugh’s 11th season with Baltimore.

Harbaugh led Baltimore to the playoffs in each of his first five seasons, but the Ravens have failed to make the postseason in four of the last five. That includes a three-year drought. The Ravens will look to end that against a schedule that features the NFC South and AFC West. The home schedule is friendly, but the road map is especially brutal in 2018.

Bottom line: The home schedule is manageable, and Baltimore must take care of business in those games. The Ravens were 5-3 at home last year, and that included one-score losses to Cincinnati and Chicago. Those two games against the Bengals are always big at the end of the year, and the Ravens have finished two games ahead the last two seasons, but that loss to Cincinnati proved costly in 2017. Record prediction: 8-8

Below is a breakdown of the Bears’ 2018 schedule. Details of Chicago’s regular-season schedule, including dates and kickoff times, will be added when the NFL makes them available.

Toughest tests: The aforementioned game against the 49ers will be a great test for the Bears in 2018, and if the Giants can bounce back after a dreadful 2017 season, they’ll present another road challenge for Chicago. In addition to the always-tough NFC North games, the Bears’ home contests against the Rams and Patriots will be key.

Biggest breaks: Speaking of those games against the Rams and Patriots, the Bears are fortunate to get them at home. The road games against the Cardinals, Bills and Dolphins — on paper, at least — are winnable. The AFC East draw in general is a positive for Chicago, with New England as always being the tricky exception.seahawks_360

Seahawks schedule 2018: Seattle fortunate to host toughest opponents

The Seahawks’ 2018 schedule was going to be tough enough given the sudden rise of their rivals in the NFC West. But the presence of the NFC North and the AFC West on Seattle’s 2018 regular-season schedule makes it that much tougher.

Biggest breaks: For the most part, Seattle draws its toughest opponents (on paper) at home. The Seahawks also have to make just one trip to the East Coast in 2018 — their trip to Carolina to play the Panthers. Of course, that does not include the trip to London.

Bottom line: Despite their division’s tough matchups against the NFC North and AFC West, the Seahawks have a relatively manageable schedule. Based on 2017 results and 2018 projections, Seattle’s home opponents are much stronger than its away opponents, making the home-field advantage of CenturyLink Field that much more important. The Seahawks might be slipping into rebuild mode around Russell Wilson, but while that’s happening, they’re fortunate their 2018 schedule is not tougher. Record prediction: 8-8

A quick look at how things stood hours before the meeting, and what might be ahead:

— Bryant was active on Twitter on Thursday with a series of posts, including this lament about media (but actually, he says, he’s OK): “I never in my life heard so much media try to destroy a single soul which is very sad but what is so great is that I’m so un F—ing bothered.”

More tweets, replies, retweets and acknowledgements followed, but the two most pertinent were:

The take from today.. I’m bothered because I said publicly I’m unbothered That’s a huge wow take 2 I’m ranting and going off on the media whenever I’m just being normal Dez in my everyday life.. I can only control what I can control is what I tell myself…again unbotheredseahawks_001

Eric Reid Asked About National Anthem Protests During Bengals Meeting

Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown reportedly asked safety Eric Reid about his protests during the national anthem in the past and said he planned to ban Bengals players from participating in them in the future during Reid’s free-agent visit with the team, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Florio wrote:

Brown’s reported comments to Reid certainly lend credence to the theory that players like Kaepernick are being blackballed by the NFL owners for political reasons.

And Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins suspects Reid would already be signed were it not for his protests in the past, per Tim McManus of ESPN.com:

Setting aside personal opinions on whether it’s proper or improper to use the anthem as a mechanism for protest, as a matter of labor and employment law, it’s proper for players to choose to protest during the anthem. Which means that, as a matter of labor and employment law, it’s not proper for the NFL or its teams to hold protesting during the anthem against any player who chooses to protest.

Which also means that there’s no legitimate reason whatsoever for any owner, G.M., or coach to interrogate a potential employee/player on whether he will or won’t kneel. Which means that, if it happens, it’s necessarily illegitimate — no different than asking potential employees about religious beliefs, national origin, and (for female employees, obviously) whether they are or plan to become pregnant.

Again, collusion is just a fancy word for coordination. If the teams have collectively decided, possibly with the league office as the conduit, that players who are most closely identified with kneeling (like Kaepernick and Reid) are bad for business despite the fact that kneeling can’t be prohibited, that’s a problem.la_kings_001