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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