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Joe Starkey: Rating the Steelers' quarterback options, from Mason Rudolph to Justin Fields and Russell Wilson

Sports / Football /

PITTSBURGH — First of all, I’m not at all convinced that Mike Tomlin wants a quarterback “competition.” I wonder if he’s more interested in insulating Kenny Pickett by signing a non-threatening vet such as Ryan Tannehill.

I’m also not sure what a legitimate training camp competition even looks like.

Is there such a thing?

If one ...Read more

Heather Khalifa/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Marcus Hayes: More Eagles drama? Howie Roseman tells Nick Sirianni to play young players more.

Sports / Football /

PHILADELPHIA — In press conferences, Howie Roseman’s usually tighter than a bull’s butt in fly season, but he might’ve let something slip Tuesday in Indianapolis.

The Eagles’ general manager was asked at the NFL scouting combine:

How do you view linebacker Nolan Smith heading into Year 2?

Roseman’s response indicated that he didn�...Read more

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Tom Krasovic: Kevin O'Connell's QB riddle may lead Vikings to Michigan's J.J. McCarthy

Sports / Football /

SAN DIEGO — Before we dive into the quarterback search by Carlsbad's own Kevin O'Connell, please take this disclaimer to heart:

Two years ago leading into the NFL draft, who knew Brock Purdy had such a great football mind?

The answer, courtesy of the Brothers Harbaugh: "Noobody!"

Even the 49ers had their doubts. It wasn't until the draft's ...Read more

Miguel Martinez/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Sources: Vikings planning to release RB Alexander Mattison

Sports / Football /

INDIANAPOLIS — Less than a year after they gave him a two-year, $7 million deal that made him their top running back, the Vikings informed Alexander Mattison they plan to release him.

The team delivered the news to the running back on Thursday, putting an end to Mattison's five-year career in Minnesota after a disappointing 2023 season. The ...Read more

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Ex-NFL player Shareece Wright alleges sexual abuse by high school trainer who was coach's daughter

Sports / Football /

LOS ANGELES — Shareece Wright says he has mainly fond memories from his four years at Colton High School, except for whenever he was alone with a female athletic trainer who happened to be the head football coach's daughter.

Wright alleges in a lawsuit that she began to groom him in 2002, when Wright was a 15-year-old freshman on the team and...Read more

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At the NFL combine, Eagles building connections with safeties and versatile defensive backs

Sports / Football /

INDIANAPOLIS — The Eagles defense needs major upgrades to become a top unit again next season — and it begins with the secondary.

As it stands, the team is lacking that true center fielder type of safety who can erase vertical concepts at a consistent rate. Finding one through the draft, at a position valued on Day 2, should be a strong ...Read more

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Sources: Patriots' reported QB plan a surprise to front-office members

Sports / Football /

INDIANAPOLIS — Two months out from the NFL Draft, the Patriots have reportedly decided how to address the quarterback position.

According to MassLive, the Patriots plan to draft a quarterback at No. 3 overall, likely LSU senior Jayden Daniels or North Carolina’s Drake Maye, and sign a veteran free agent who could start over him.

If so, ...Read more

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Ex-NFL GM asks Pierce to 'shut up,' but Raiders coach isn't changing

Sports / Football /

INDIANAPOLIS — Antonio Pierce has been the Raiders full-time coach for a month.

He’s already managed to ruffle some feathers with the unapologetic way he represents himself and the team.

For instance, some took offense to the “Patrick Mahomes rules” Pierce laid out. He explained on Maxx Crosby’s “The Rush” podcast how the Raiders...Read more

Steelers GM Omar Khan gives vote of confidence to Kenny Pickett, cites potential for growth under Arthur Smith

Sports / Football /

INDIANAPOLIS — General manager Omar Khan said he has “full faith” in Kenny Pickett’s ability to be the type of quarterback the Steelers envisioned when they made him their No. 1 pick two years ago.

And part of that faith is rooted in the impact new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith can have on Pickett. He will get to prove it as he ...Read more

Bob Condotta: Why Geno Smith seems destined to be on Seahawks roster in 2024

Sports / Football /

INDIANAPOLIS — One of the primary purposes of the NFL scouting combine is for teams to begin assessing the free-agent and trade markets for every position with the new league year beginning March 13.

Maybe that influenced the news contained in a report from Bleacher Report on Thursday afternoon that the Seahawks "have informed Geno Smith he ...Read more

Jason Getz/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS

Falcons are in need of more than just a quarterback

Sports / Football /

INDIANAPOLIS — There’s no question that the Falcons need to upgrade the quarterback position this offseason.

However, much more is needed for them to return to elite status in the NFL after six consecutive losing seasons.

“I wouldn’t look at any position and say that we won’t add to that position,” Falcons general manager Terry ...Read more

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As quarterbacks take center stage at combine, Vikings are paying attention

Sports / Football /

INDIANAPOLIS — Friday and Saturday at the NFL scouting combine are all about the quarterbacks.

Vikings brass, including general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O'Connell, have already held formal, 18-minute meetings with this year's quarterback prospects inside their team suite at Lucas Oil Stadium.

On Friday, they'll get ...Read more

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Chris Perkins: Dolphins' attitude toward Xavien Howard is a bit peculiar

Sports / Football /

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier’s comments on Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine raised some eyebrows.

Going a step further, Grier’s laudable open-mindedness toward Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard returning, presumably with a significant pay cut, piqued my curiosity. At season’s end, Howard sounded as though there’s absolutely...Read more

Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Caleb Williams confidential: Buzz from NFL scouting combine on what Bears must consider with No. 1 draft pick

Sports / Football /

INDIANAPOLIS — Around 9 a.m. local time Friday, USC quarterback Caleb Williams will step onto Podium 4 inside Great Hall J at the Indianapolis Convention Center and look out over a mob of football reporters trying to use every second of their allotted 20 minutes to take their snapshot of the most talked about prospect in this year’s NFL ...Read more

How Lions' Jameson Williams helped one of two top Alabama CBs believe in NFL dream

Sports / Football /

INDIANAPOLIS — If the Detroit Lions select a corner with the 29th pick in the NFL Draft, there’s a decent chance that player will come from Alabama.

The Crimson Tide are putting two high-level secondary players into this years’ draft in Kool-Aid McKinstry and Terrion Arnold, giving the Lions a pair of options at a position of need from a ...Read more

Mike Vorel: UW's representation at NFL combine doubles as showcase for what Huskies must replace

Sports / Football /

If you watch the NFL scouting combine this week, you’ll see a who’s who of former Huskies …

And a showcase for what Washington must replace.

Specifically, 13 Huskies will step foot inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the program’s largest output ever. Fittingly, the only team to earn more invites is Michigan, which will send 18 ...Read more

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What to know about the influencer suing Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill

Sports / Football /

TAMPA, Fla. — Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill has been accused in a lawsuit of fracturing the leg of Pasco County-based social media influencer Sophie Hall, according to a complaint filed in Broward County.

Hall, a model with more than 2 million Instagram followers, filed the lawsuit last Friday, according the South Florida Sun-...Read more

Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun/TNS

Mike Preston: Ravens' 2024 draft will set the tone for the future

Sports / Football /

BALTIMORE — Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta has been on a roll in recent NFL drafts, and he needs to continue that trend in 2024.

When the Ravens signed middle linebacker Roquan Smith to a five-year, $100 million contract in January 2023 and then quarterback Lamar Jackson to a five-year, $260 million deal a few months later, it set a ...Read more

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Mark Bradley: If the aim is to win now, the Falcons should target Kirk Cousins

Sports / Football /

ATLANTA — Bad news first. The Falcons are deficient at the position that matters most.

Now the good. That’s the only position at which there’s a glaring deficiency.

Speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday, the team’s latest head coach said: “If we had better play at quarterback last year in Atlanta, I might not be standing ...Read more

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'Everyone's got a story': How Bears will delve into QB prospects' wiring during NFL combine interviews

Sports / Football /

INDIANAPOLIS — When NFL prospects arrive at the Chicago Bears interview room this week, they’ll face a choice — the same decision the Bears posed to players at last year’s scouting combine.

Darts or putting?

Coach Matt Eberflus said the Bears will use the same icebreaker they used last year to try to put players at ease and get their ...Read more