Asked Thursday if he feels a need to use the draft’s No. 2 overall pick on a successor for his 37-year-old signal-caller, Gettleman labeled the idea hogwash.

You miss on a quarterback, you’ve really hurt the franchise for five years, Gettleman added. It’s a five-year mistake.

Over the years, we’ve been taught to distrust everything we see and hear during the NFL Draft’s smokescreen season. Gettleman can disarm reporters with the claim that he hasn’t lied since he got caught numerous times as a child, but that doesn’t mean he’s telegraphing his plans.

Gettleman isn’t lying about his team’s draft strategy. With a straight face, he can point out the dire consequences of swinging and missing on a quarterback at the top of the draft.

As a four-decade NFL lifer, though, he knows just as well that the cost to the franchise is equally steep if a running back, offensive lineman or pass rusher goes bust at the top of the draft.

Davis says the team’s rules are overbearing and unreasonable, and that she was unjustly fired from what was once her dream job. She has filed a civil rights complaint, and is speaking out about discriminatory policies in professional cheerleading. Professional cheerleading is a much more exhausting and high-pressure job than many people realize.

Cheerleaders don’t only dance and cheer during games; they also have to make promotional appearances, show up to photo shoots, sell products for the team, and practice for hours and hours each week. They are also expected to meet very specific guidelines regarding their weight, general appearance, and etiquette. To give an idea of the standards professional cheerleaders are held to, here are just a few of the etiquette and appearance standards cheerleaders are expected to meet if they want to keep their jobs. In 2014, the Los Angeles Times published sections  of the 2012 handbook for the Oakland Raiders cheer team, the Raiderettes.

Conventional wisdom had centered on USC quarterback Sam Darnold. In recent weeks, however, Wyoming’s Josh Allen has emerged as a potential alternative.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer collects and summarizes the various reports linking the Browns to Allen. The common thread? G.M. John Dorsey’s affinity for rocket-armed throwers. Last year, for example, the Chiefs (under Dorsey) moved from No. 27 to No. 10 to get Patrick Mahomes. And Dorsey spent years in Green Bay with Brett Favre as the resident gunslinger.

With the Giants reportedly interested in Darnold or no quarterback at No. 2, the Browns could try to cajole the Giants to move to No. 1, which then would allow the Browns to get Allen at No. 2. Falling any farther than No. 2 would make it more difficult for the Browns to get Allen.

If the Browns take Allen at No. 1 and the Giants take Darnold at No. 2, the Jets would then likely take Baker Mayfield or Josh Rosen at No. 3, giving the Browns at No. 4 the de facto No. 1 overall non-quarterback.

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Report: Seahawks expected to cut second-rounder Malik McDowell, who still isn’t cleared

Malik McDowell, after one serious non-football injury and zero games played, is apparently on his final days in Seattle. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Seahawks are expected to cut McDowell, who is still seeking medical clearance, in the near future.

McDowell, taken 35th overall in last year’s draft, was expected to bolster the Seahawks’ defensive line in the years to come.

Last season, the Seahawks missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and they’ve spent the offseason moving on from Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Jimmy Graham, and Sheldon Richardson. More changes might be coming. Earl Thomas has been floated in trade discussions, and it’s not clear if Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor will be able to play football again. Meanwhile, the teams surrounding the Seahawks — the Rams and 49ers, namely — have only gotten stronger over the past year.

Hernandez is a first-team All-American. A powerful, 348-pound road grader, he could provide an immediate boost to Detroit’s ground game. Wynn, who has experience at tackle, is the more athletic option if the Lions put a premium on moving in space, whether pulling or attacking the second level.

In the second round, the Lions still could look for a guard, such as Auburn’s Braden Smith, or consider a top-tier center such as Ohio State’s Billy Price (who could slide a bit because of a pec injury suffered at the combine) or Iowa’s James Daniels.

If Detroit went that route, Glasgow would most certainly stay at guard.

Beyond the perceived need for a starting guard, the Lions are otherwise in reasonable shape up front for 2018. Still, the team also should be mindful of a backup plan for Lang in 2019.

I think the NFL really views this event as an event for diehard football fans, Estis said. So I think having team sections like that, down on the floor, close to the stage to create all that really cool atmosphere of hardcore fans, I think that’s what the NFL wants, and I know they’re working hard to make sure that fans from each of those markets end up in those seats.

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Third-year review on Lions’ 2015 draft: Not good

It’s often said you don’t know what you have with an NFL draft class until three years have passed. With that in mind, and sticking to an annual tradition, I’ve re-evaluated the Detroit Lions’ draft from three years ago, prior to the upcoming round of rookies being added to the roster.

After another disappointing training camp last year, he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a fifth-round pick in 2019.

Abdullah’s best season was his rookie year, when he led the team in yards from scrimmage. Working in tandem with Joique Bell, Abdullah averaged 4.2 yards per carry, caught 25 passes and was one of the league’s better kickoff returners.

He appeared primed for a breakout in 2016, but a Week 2 foot injury prematurely ended his season. And when he returned last year as the featured back in the rotation, he struggled in the role. Despite flashing some big-play ability, his efficiency bottomed out at 3.3 yards per attempt. Even if given the benefit of the doubt because of inferior blocking and play-calling, the results weren’t good enough.

The game was preceded by a moment of silence to remember the lives of Erin Popovich, the wife of San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, and former first lady Barbara Bush. 76ers coach Brett Brown is a former a Spurs assistant who has remained close with the Popovich family, and said Erin Popovich was a star, like a real star. A very strong woman, and somebody that will be missed.

Among those in the sold-out crowd were former Heat point guards Mario Chalmers and Jason Williams, the starters on Miami’s three NBA championship teams. Both got warm ovations when shown on the videoboards around the arena.

That message was underscored by the Seattle Seahawks’ decision to sign a quarterback with no experience instead of keeping a scheduled meeting with Kaepernick after he reportedly didn’t declare he would no longer protest. The former 49ers quarterback, who led the team to the Super Bowl and came within a play of winning the title, has not been in trouble with the law.

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Herbstreit: UM’s Maurice Hurst a ‘steal’ in NFL Draft

The way ESPN’s college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit sees it, Michigan All-American defensive tackle Maurice Hurst will be a steal in the upcoming NFL Draft.

It’s almost as if (players like Hurst) get forgotten, Herbstreit said. People better remember. Just turn the film on. He is a quick, he’s a little undersized but makes up for it with his quickness, and he’s a playmaker. We’ve got these big guys, inside guys, and I’m telling you, Mo Hurst will be one of those guys.

I don’t know where he’s going to go — my guess is somewhere in the first round — but he’s gonna be a guy next year everybody’s watching and he’s making plays in the backfield, and people are going to be going, ‘Who’s this guy?’ I think he’s slipping through the cracks and hopefully somebody, if he’s healthy and everything is OK, somebody is going to get a steal in my opinion with whoever picks him up.

A current player said Bryant told him, speaking of the Cowboys: They are going to wish they never let me go. 

NFL fans, and especially Cowboys fans, are going to find All or Nothing, the Amazon series on the Cowboys’ 2017 season, pretty fascinating. It comes out April 27, but I’ve watched the review copies.

Not to get too deep into this, but the best thing about it is access. Most teams hate these types of shows. The culture of football is still secretive, and teams want to shut down access instead of granting it.

These series are the opposite and give us a rare, and actually not too polished or phony, look at the Cowboys.

As you might guess, owner Jerry Jones is the star of the show.

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Bears were more worried about some knees than others

For another $1 million dollars, the Bears could have made sure Cameron Meredith was theirs this season.

But apparently the concerns over his reconstructed knee forced them into a cautious valuation, and so they lost him without compensation yesterday when they didn’t match the Saints offer sheet for the wide receiver. They tendered the former undrafted rookie at the lowest level of $1.9 million, when tendering him at $2.9 million would have gotten them a second-round pick if someone would have signed him away (or more accurately, scared off any suitors for a year).

Granted, Robinson has better back-of-the-football-card stats than Meredith, but not by a margin larger than the difference in their paychecks. Robinson had a 1,400-yard season in 2015, but in 2016, his 73-catch, 883-yard, six-touchdown stat line isn’t much different from Meredith’s 66-888-4.

Considering the Bears monitored Meredith’s rehab all last season, they’re in the best position to know what’s happening in that knee. But given General Manager Ryan Pace’s track record of finding qualified receivers vs. the Saints’, it’s worth wondering whether they were penny wise and pound foolish on this deal.

Drafted in the first round, Davis was tasked with the difficult challenge of starting at middle linebacker from Day 1. He played every defensive snap in six of his first seven games — only missing time in the outlier due to a concussion – but had noticeable struggles in coverage and with his pursuit angles, leading to being one of the league leaders in missed tackles.

By mid-season, the coaching staff reduced the rookie’s role, pulling Davis off the field on obvious passing downs. The idea was to narrow his focus on Sundays and work on his coverage skills on the practice field, building him back up to the complete linebacker he needed to be.

If Week 17 was any proof, the development plan put in place was a success. Davis played every snap in season-ending win over the Green Bay Packers and delivered his finest performance. He recorded a season-high 12 tackles (without a miss) and forced a fumble.

More: Patricia likes LBs, but would Lions take one in first round?

The strong close to the year buoyed Davis’ spirits heading into his first offseason.

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Sam Darnold says not throwing at combine was best decision for me

Scouts may or may not learn something new about the quarterbacks who are throwing today. They will learn nothing new about Sam Darnold because he’s not throwing.

The USC quarterback, who drew criticism from NFL Network’s Mike Mayock for his decision, explained it as the best decision for him.

I just felt it was the best decision for me, Darnold said. Obviously I’m going to throw at my Pro Day. I think that’s a good opportunity for teams to be able to look at how I can spin it. I’m going to be throwing to guys I’ve played with. I think given all the information I had, I thought that was the best decision.

If that is indeed the case, it sounds like Bridgewater will field some calls from outside Minnesota. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that a handful of teams showed interest in Bridgewater as a potential starting quarterback. Bridgewater said in January that he definitely thinks he can start in 2018.

The potential part of that equation suggests no one is going to hand Bridgewater a starting job, which makes sense given he’s spent two years (save a handful of snaps in garbage time last season) out of action after a serious knee injury.

The Cardinals, Jets and Broncos are reportedly the teams that have joined the Vikings in the running for Kirk Cousins and those that don’t land him could turn to Bridgewater, especially if they see him as a well-named bridge option until a rookie selected in this year’s draft is ready to start. With Case Keenum, Josh McCown, Sam Bradford and AJ McCarron also hitting the market, it should be a spirited game of musical chairs once teams are free to start making moves.

I think the important thing is Drew wants to be a New Orleans Saint, Loomis said, via Herbie Teope of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. We want him to be a New Orleans Saint, so he’s going to be a New Orleans Saint. That’s what my expectation is and we’ll see about the timing of that.

Loomis met with Brees’ agent Tom Condon Thursday night, but he didn’t want to discuss anything that was said.

I don’t want to talk about that because look, in part, if I talk about it then they’re going to feel like they need to talk about it, Loomis said. I don’t want to put them in that position.

If the 39-year-old Brees wanted to, he’d find an eager market for his services, but every indication through this process has been that a deal will get done.

Did teams ask Lamar Jackson to do receiver drills, or didn’t they?

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Pat McAfee almost retired a year earlier than he did

Colts punter Pat McAfee surprised everyone a year ago by retiring early from the NFL. In a visit to Friday’s PFT Live, the Barstool Heartland personality explained that he nearly retired a year earlier.

Coach Chuck Pagano talked McAfee out of leaving after the 2015 season, during a flight back from an overseas USO Tour. After 2016, McAfee left even though his mortal enemy, G.M. Ryan Grigson, had finally been fired.

He just said that my tape from last year, the last game till now, that I’ve improved a significant amount, he said. Even from the last time he saw me in person till now, I got a lot bigger, faster, stronger, stuff like that. So they are gonna watch my tape as a staff and reach out tonight.

Devera already holds offers from five mid-majors — BUffalo, UMass, Old Dominion, Miami (Ohio) and Howerd — of which Miami of Ohio and Old Dominion stand out most. But there are other school also barking up the tree.

UNC, coach Baker from Rutgers wants me to come down there, Devera said. He says I’ll love it down there. Air Force too. Air Force is really close, and Kent State.

The end result is that the Eagles have their first-round pick (No. 32), a fourth-round pick from the Vikings in the Sam Bradford trade (No. 130), their fourth-round pick (No. 132), their fifth-round pick (No. 169), their sixth-round pick (No. 206), and three seventh-round picks (one from the Seahawks, their own, and a compensatory pick).

Absent further trades for example, a deal to send Nick Foles to another team, the Eagles will see 98 players drafted from when they’re on the clock to end Thursday night until they’re back on the clock on Saturday afternoon.

Apart from the fact that the Eagles need more draft picks is the reality that Foles, through his agents, may soon be clamoring for a chance to play this year, and to be paid accordingly. When the Eagles traded Bradford two years ago, the Eagles otherwise intended to put him on the field. Foles is slated to be the backup, and to make a mere $7 million; surely, he’s interested in not being a backup and not making only $7 million.

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Yes, people are defending do you like men? as a useful interview question

It shouldn’t be a surprise, in our current red-blue-right-wrong-yell-scream climate, that people are defending the indefensible efforts by teams to question incoming players regarding their sexuality. Some defend the question based on the fact that the locker room consists of men who are in various states of undress. Some defend the question based on the notion that, if the goal is simply to elicit a reaction, anything goes.

So, under the theory offered by those defending the question based on its substance, the goal is to get gay players to voluntarily out themselves to strangers, which will allow sexuality to be added to the spreadsheet that includes height, weight, and 40-yard dash time, apparently resulting in a balancing test that has the G.M. weighing football factors along with propensity to establish a wide stance in a bathroom stall.

Under the theory that it’s all being done to get a reaction out of the players, the fact that the teams (and the players) would think that this is the kind of question that should prompt any reaction at all shows how outdated the NFL mentality really is.

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports that King’s deal has a total value of $2.6 million and includes a $400,000 signing bonus. He has base salaries of $775,000 and $925,000 with another $500,000 available in per-game roster bonuses.

King did not play any defensive snaps for the Patriots last season, but appeared on 52 percent of their special teams snaps and made eight tackles. One of those tackles came when he dropped Chargers punt returner Travis Benjamin in the end zone for a safety after Benjamin recovered a muffed punt.

Rudolph is an interesting guy. He’s more of a traditional quarterback in terms of his size and passing ability. He put up huge numbers in college. And I think that New England will indeed consider taking a quarterback in the early rounds. Will that be Rudolph? Will it be with 49ers pick? I can’t answer those and anyone who pretends they can is selling you a bill of goods.

Hello. Huge Patriots fan from China. I agree that coach BB is great, while I kind of believe he lost respect within the team since there was still no explanation on why he benched Butler in the SB. Yes, money talks on FA market, while I don’t really think Solder, Lewis and Amendola all left just looking for higher salary only.

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Jarvis Landry will sign franchise tender

The Dolphins were the first team to use the franchise tag this year. And receiver Jarvis Landry will be the first one to accept it.

Per multiple reports, Landry will be signing the one-year offer.

The outspoken leader of the Jacksonville defense, Ramsey played remarkably well for a rookie cornerback in 2016 and was part of the best cornerback duo in football last season. The only question about Ramsey coming into the NFL was whether he would be a playmaker after intercepting just three passes at FSU, but the 23-year-old racked up four picks in addition to his 17 pass deflections in 2017. Ramsey isn’t due for a new deal until 2019 at the earliest, but he’s the position’s best bet to garner a massive extension. Marcus Peters also might be in the running here.

Berry bet on himself before the 2016 season and subsequently produced the best season of his career, forcing the Chiefs into an enormous extension. The second-largest safety contract at the time Berry signed his deal called for Devin McCourty to receive $29.9 million over three seasons. Most big contracts go to free safeties, but Reshad Jones plays a mix of both safety spots and is in second with $33 million over three years, while pure strong safety Kam Chancellor is in third at $31 million.

The top quarterback prizes — Kirk Cousins (Vikings) and Case Keenum (Broncos) — and middle prizes — Teddy Bridgewater (Jets), Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon (both Cardinals) — are all signed or set up to be signed in the coming days. McCarron is still waiting for the right offer, but it’s unlikely to be a starting one, with the Bills the only team that would seem in the market for that and little interest being reported between the two sides.

The former Bengals signal-caller, who won his grievance against Cincinnati last month that allowed him to test the market, now may be back to square one.

On Wednesday, WEEI.com reported the Patriots had made McCarron, 27, an offer. Although New England signed 32-year-old journeyman Brian Hoyer to a three-year deal in November, closing in on a deal with McCarron could open the door for a (backup) quarterback competition come training camp. Bill Belichick also could keep two backups on his roster as insurance for Tom Brady, who will turn 41 before the start of the regular season.

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Giants’ new, veteran running back understands why he’s here

Jonathan Stewart will be given the opportunity to compete for playing time at running back with the Giants, as, for the first time in his long NFL career, he transitions to a new team. The veteran also understands there is another reason why the Giants signed him.

Gettleman spent four years with the Panthers and has inside knowledge of what Stewart is like, on and off the field. Mike Shula, the Giants’ new offensive coordinator, held that title in Carolina and also knows what Stewart can do.

As far as the discussions with Matt, again Matt knows what this team is about and he knows what he can do for this team at a number of levels. He knows that he’s right up against a third contract in the NFL, and those are big contracts and significant discussion points. And he’s very aware of that. And he’s aware of everyone on the team being aware of it. He doesn’t want to be a distraction. That’s him. Ultimately, he’s a team guy through and through. Again, hopefully we can move through this and get this done.

Ryan is in the final year of a five-year, $103.75 million extension and is due $19.25 million in 2018. There was talk of the the Falcons completing the extension before the start of free agency to free up more cap space, but that never materialized. Ryan’s 2018 cap number currently is $21.65 million.

When pressed on how close the team is to reaching a deal with Condon, Dimitroff said, I don’t know how close we are on it. We talk about it and it seems like things are right around the corner and understand that there’s no real rush on it right now. … It’s not like we’re worried about free agency. The only rush on it is getting everyone comfortable so that we can continue to focus on the upcoming season.

I think all of the market will factor into how we do Matt and how we approach Matt, there’s no question about that, Dimitroff said. If I were to state the significance of it, I think it’s just a piece of the pie.

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