Whosale New York Jets Jersey China

The next 72 hours will be critical for general manager Mike Maccagnan, who has two assets that can help improve the future of the New York Jets — a prime waiver priority (No. 6) and Sheldon Richardson.

What about the present? Well, you know the deal: The Jets are building for 2018 and beyond, so it would be a surprise if they make a “win-now” move of any significance over the next few days. They’re so far down the road to Tanksville that it would be pointless to acquire a short-term asset.
Maccagnan already has made two minor trades this week, and he capitalized on his waiver position by picking up defensive end Kony Ealy after he was cut by the New England Patriots. Six other teams submitted claims for Ealy, who made three sacks for the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, but the Jets landed him because the priority is based on the 2017 draft order. Ealy isn’t a lock to make the team, but he’ll get a look as a situational pass-rusher.

This will become a trend in the coming days, as Maccagnan will look to churn the roster before (and after) Saturday’s cutdown deadline. The most glaring need is for a veteran wide receiver. Right now, the Jets simply don’t have enough talent to compete. That will hamper the growth of the offense, not to mention the young quarterbacks when they get a chance to play (and they will get a chance). Scanning the league, receivers such as Sammie Coates, Cody Latimer, Harry Douglas and Jarius Wright could be released.

If the Jets want a long-term solution at wide receiver, they may have to part with defensive end Sheldon Richardson.

If the Jets want a long-term solution at wide receiver, they may have to part with defensive end Sheldon Richardson.

If Maccagnan wants a long-term solution at receiver, he may have to part with Richardson, their only bargaining chip. He might be the most physically gifted player on the team, but he’ll be a free agent after the season and all signs point to him leaving. They can watch him walk next March or try now to get something in return, either a player or draft pick that could help the talent-starved organization after he’s gone. They’d only get a 2019 compensatory pick if he bolts as a free agent.

The Jets have been trying to trade him for nearly a year and they’re still open to it, according to sources. If they’re presented with the right offer — in my opinion, at least a 2018 second-round pick — they should do the deal. If not, they should renew their efforts at the trading deadline at midseason.

Richardson is having an excellent preseason — the New York Giants couldn’t block him — but he still chafes people in the organization with his occasional lapses of immaturity. His recent bashing of former teammate Brandon Marshall didn’t sit well with coach Todd Bowles, who was furious. Richardson is on double, not-so-secret probation. One more outburst, and there will be consequences.
Richardson’s reputation, coupled with his guaranteed salary ($8 million), hurts his trade value. But if the Jets can find a team desperate for defensive line help — paging the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins — a trade might be doable. The Jets have talent and depth on the defensive line, especially if Ealy works out. They could withstand the hit.

These next few days could get crazy. Other than Leonard Williams and some recent high draft picks, there are no untouchables on the roster. Most of them were swept out in the offseason, but any holdover with a big salary (Buster Skrine) or age (Matt Forte and Steve McLendon) or injury issues (Lorenzo Mauldin) could be in trouble. Forte, 31, is on the trading block, the NFL Network reported.

These next few days belong to Maccagnan. Let’s see what he can do.

Cheap miami dolphins jarvis landry jersey

DAVIE, Fla. — Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase shot down speculation Monday that Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry is on the trade market.

Jarvis Landry, who set an NFL record for the most receptions (288) in his first three seasons, is in the final year of his rookie deal and is seeking a new contract.

Jarvis Landry, who set an NFL record for the most receptions (288) in his first three seasons, is in the final year of his rookie deal and is seeking a new contract.

There was a report on social media this week from Fox NFL analyst and former NFL executive Michael Lombardi that Miami “will seriously listen to offers” for Landry. Gase said he approached Landry personally to explain the report was false.

“I did talk to him and told him there’s no chance that he’s going to be traded,” Gase said. “And if something that’s not true comes out like that, then I’m going to deal with it. I’m going to approach the player. … I just let him know that there’s no chance I’m going to trade you.”
Landry is entering the final year of his rookie contract worth $893,850 and wants a long-term extension. However, talks haven’t progressed between the two sides, and it is unlikely the Dolphins will reach an agreement with Landry before the start of the regular season. Landry will be an unrestricted free agent next year.

Landry led the Dolphins in receptions in each of the past three seasons and made the Pro Bowl the past two seasons. He had 94 receptions for 1,136 yards and four touchdowns last year.
Gase also confirmed Tuesday quarterback Ryan Tannehill had left knee surgery and is in the early stages of rehabbing. Tannehill suffered a season-ending ACL tear on Aug. 3.

Cleveland Browns Jersey on sale

BEREA, Ohio — DeShone Kizer can make the Cleveland Browns’ dreams come true.

The team that has had 26 starting quarterbacks since 1999 will have a 27th come Sept. 10, assuming that rookie DeShone Kizer does not (A) get injured or (B) fall on his face Saturday night in Tampa, where he will start.

Kizer is Option 3 in the Browns’ preseason quarterback derby, and in the long run he may be the best answer of all. The question is what learning on the fly will do to him in the short term.

The other options on the roster didn’t give Hue Jackson much of a choice.

Browns coach Hue Jackson has named DeShone Kizer the starter for the Browns' third preseason game.

Browns coach Hue Jackson has named DeShone Kizer the starter for the Browns’ third preseason game.

So the Browns are turning to a rookie in the hopes that he can duplicate what Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott did last season in Philadelphia and Dallas.
Brock Osweiler got the first two preseason starts, averaged 3 yards per attempt in his five series, and scored no points. The Osweiler era seems to be over after two practice games, as ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports the Browns are trying to trade him.
 Cody Kessler got the first chance, but he was so uninspiring in practice that the Browns turned to Osweiler to start preseason games even though he had received no practice reps with the first unit until after he was named the starter.

Kizer has not been perfect, but at this point he’s the Browns’ best option — even if it means throwing him in before he’s completely ready against Pittsburgh. He has led the Browns to three touchdowns and one field goal in just about a complete game of action.

He has shown the strong arm that has generated so much interest, and he has shown an ability to run — though the Browns would probably be wise to junk the read-option plays that put him at risk of injury.

That risk showed up in one series against the Giants’ first-team defense Monday. In a six-play stretch, he was sacked three times and ran twice. It wasn’t pretty, and the indecisiveness raises the possibility that he could turn into a guy who takes too many hits as a rookie and suffers because of it.

It almost seemed like the Browns and Jackson were pleading for Osweiler to do something, anything, to justify keeping him in the starting spot. When little happened offensively and when Kizer guided drives for a touchdown and field goal Monday night, Jackson had to ponder the wisdom of whether it was worth hoping Osweiler came through or seeing what Kizer can do.

He chose to see what Kizer can do, for good reason.

Kizer will get the start and the bulk of the playing time in Tampa.
When the offseason started, Kessler had the chance to win the job. He didn’t.

Three weeks ago it seemed that Osweiler had to fall flat to lose the job. He lost the job.

Kizer now has a chance to keep the job. The Browns aren’t committing to him as the starter, but neither did the heavens fully commit to the eclipse until the moon passed the sun. Jackson has been entrusted to shepherd him through in a way that will keep him healthy and successful, and in a way where he will not lose confidence.

Kizer has a great arm and NFL size, and he’ll go through growing pains.

But if he comes through, the Browns will come out of a tumultuous quarterback offseason and preseason expressing equal parts relief and happiness.

who did the baltimore ravens cut today

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco hasn’t stood on the field and watched one practice since being sidelined with a back injury. Flacco hasn’t been on the sideline for any of the preseason games either.

Unless you bump into him in the hallway of the Ravens’ facility, Flacco has become the team’s invisible man, or an X-man, depending on you ask.

“Top secret, baby! Top secret,” wide receiver Mike Wallace said. “We can’t give you any glimpses of Joe. When he comes back, you all are going to see. He has gained like 30 pounds of muscle, he is running like a 4.5 [40-yard dash] now. He is like Weapon X. He is under wraps right now, but when he comes back, it is going to be crazy.”

Flacco hasn’t practiced in this year’s training camp because of the back issue. After coach John Harbaugh ruled out Flacco from practicing, the earliest Flacco would return is Aug. 27, which would give him two weeks to prepare for the regular-season opener in Cincinnati, set for Sept. 10. The Ravens, though, haven’t announced definitively when Flacco will come back.

At the start of camp, doctors told Flacco and the Ravens that he would need about a week of rest for his back issue to subside. The 32-year-old now will miss at least four weeks of practice.

Wallace believes the offense will have enough time to get in sync with Flacco.

“Joe is a vet. He has been 10 years in the game,” Wallace said. “He has won Super Bowls, he has been in every situation. He might need to knock a little rust off, but hopefully we can knock that out in those days of practice before Week 1. I think once we get into the game all it will take is a couple plays and then you feel like you are in the game. It is like, ‘OK, let’s go.’ But, he is a vet. He will be fine.”

Wallace also said there isn’t a greater emphasis on learning in the team meetings because Flacco and other starters on the offense haven’t been able to practice.

“Just because one man is not here, it doesn’t mean you focus more or focus any less,” Wallace said. “You go about the business the same way you should and that is with tunnel vision. Every day, I don’t think you should change your approach because one guy is in or one guy is out. If you are doing that, you are wrong. You should have that same mindset every day [to] focus in the classroom and focus on the field to get better and precise at everything.”

“Quarterback whisperer’” Martellus Bennett talked to Aaron Rodgers

"Chemistry was one of my best classes, and in real life chemistry is one of my best traits," said Martellus Bennett.

“Chemistry was one of my best classes, and in real life chemistry is one of my best traits,” said Martellus Bennett.

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Sure, Martellus Bennett would love more preseason snaps with Aaron Rodgers — or any preseason snaps with his quarterback at this point — but the Green Bay Packers’ new tight end has another formula that he thinks will help them connect on the field when it counts.

“I need all the reps I can with Aaron — practice reps, game reps, meeting room reps,” Bennett said. “Any rep I can get with him I’ll try to get, whether it’s just whispering to him, try to be the quarterback whisperer. It’s just a lot of communication and a lot of reps. Over-communicate and over-rep every single thing we could possibly do.”

Rodgers probably doesn’t need to play in the preseason for his own good, but he might for Bennett’s.
It was no surprise that Rodgers didn’t play in last Thursday’s preseason opener against the Eagles, although he did surprisingly take part in pregame warm-ups. And given that Rodgers took only the first rep of every period on Tuesday with the No. 1 offense and then jumped over to the scout team like he did last week, it looks like this preseason might mirror last year’s — when Rodgers played just two series (26 total snaps) in the second-to-last preseason game.

If that’s the case, then Rodgers’ only preseason snaps likely will come on Aug. 26 at Denver.

And that’s fine with him even though last year he didn’t exactly start the regular season fast. Rodgers said last week that there’s no correlation between playing time in preseason games and how an offense starts the season.

“I felt great, I felt great,” Rodgers said of how he felt going into last season. “It was nice. Body felt really good. You know, we do things on the side conditioning wise to make sure we’re ready to go. So I initially felt great. I would assume this year with Denver being the third preseason game I’ll play for sure in that one. And that altitude will help with the conditioning because it’s tough to play out there.

“We played out there in 2008 in the preseason, I had a good half of football, but yeah, it’s preseason. Mike [McCarthy] wants to look at the other guys for sure [in] extended time. He feels good about what we’ve got, we’re trying to work our timing in practice with the young guys and the new tight ends. We’ll figure it out as we go.”

Bennett said he believes he and Rodgers will be on the proverbial same page come Sept. 10 for the regular-season opener against the Seahawks.

Rodgers has raved about Bennett almost ever since he arrived for the offseason program back in April and there’s been nothing on the practice field to indicate the two won’t have an immediate chemistry, but the reality is they may not know until the games count.

“I’m like everybody’s type, so I have chemistry with everybody,” Bennett said. “I never really had problems having chemistry with anyone. Chemistry was one of my best classes, and in real life chemistry is one of my best traits. So I have a lot of good chemistry with a lot of good people, so I don’t lack in the chemistry field.”

Bennett played 11 snaps — all with Brett Hundley as the quarterback — in the preseason opener and caught the only pass that came his way, a 13-yard pickup on a third-and-2 slant.

“It doesn’t matter who throws the ball or who’s back there, I’ve just got to do my job,” Bennett said. “That’s what I try to do, make it easy for the quarterbacks.”

Roger Goodell in the question and answer session about the national anthem, Ethiopia Elliott

GLENDALE, Ariz. — While NFL commissioner Roger Goodell considers the national anthem a “special moment” and a “point of pride,” he wants to respect the rights of players across the league to sit during the anthem as a form of protest.

Goodell voiced his feelings during a question-and-answer session for Arizona Cardinals season-ticket holders before training camp Monday. A question was posed to Goodell about whether anthem protests this season were “going to be another problem.”

On Saturday, Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat on a cooler during the national anthem before a preseason game against the Cardinals, and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett sat for the anthem before his game at the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
“It’s one of those things where we have to understand that there are people who have different viewpoints,” Goodell said. “It’s something that I think everybody wants. The national anthem is a special moment for me. It’s a point of pride. That is a really important moment but we also have to understand the other side — that people do have rights, and we want to respect those.”

Goodell said he had a similar discussion during a New York Jets fan forum a couple weeks ago. A player, whom Goodell did not name, was asked about the ongoing silent protest, Goodell said. The player, according to Goodell, said there was “a time and a place” to engage in protest.

That, Goodell said Monday, is one of the key components for players to recognize.

“That’s what we all have to, sort of, understand — the responsibility of doing it at the right time and in the right way,” Goodell said.

“Protest to progress is what I call it. We all have to recognize that people want to see change. Let’s go out and try to make that happen in a peaceful and an important way.”

Goodell touched on other topics, as well.

He said the NFL never likes to see two star players get suspended to start consecutive seasons, as was the case with New England quarterback Tom Brady missing four games in 2016 and Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott sentenced to a six-game suspension this year. “Those things are dictated by circumstances,” Goodell said. “We do everything we can to make sure that we’re enforcing our policies and holding standards to the highest level. That’s an unfortunate part of that, but that is what you do.”

Goodell said the NFL has not heard from fans who are concerned about traveling to London for this season’s slate of International Series games despite two major terror attacks in England this year, and that ticket sales remain strong. “We’re not seeing that in our ticket sales,” Goodell said. “Obviously there could be fans who look at that and say, ‘That’s not something we want to do,’ but we’re not seeing that. Our ticket sales will be stronger than ever.”

Despite the National Institute of Health’s decision to let its partnership with the NFL expire on Aug. 31 with about $16 million of a $30 million donation from 2012 unused, Goodell said the league is committed to spending the remainder of its pledge. “We’re working with the NIH to figure out how to spend that effectively and do it to support research that’s so badly needed,” Goodell said.

Goodell said he spoke with between 80 and 100 players, including Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, about the NFL’s decision to relax celebration penalties.

While Goodell says adding 21 full-time officials will help make officiating “a little more consistent,” he understands they won’t be a “silver bullet.” “I don’t think it’s going to solve all our problems,” Goodell said. “These guys are human. They’re going to make mistakes, but I do think it’ll be a benefit.”

Goodell called the current era of football — with all the research that’s going into head injuries, and all the advancements in technology in and around the game — the best time to be playing the sport: “I think there’s never been a better time to play football and a safer time to play football.”

Goodell doesn’t think the quality of the preseason games matches the quality of the regular-season games “by any stretch of the imagination,” which could eventually lead to the reduction of the preseason from four to three games. Goodell said he asked Cardinals coach Bruce Arians if teams could prepare their players the same way with three preseason games instead of four, and Arians said it’s possible.

Goodell said the NFL is considering a developmental league that would take place in the fall or spring and allow teams to get players into their system and run their plays.

The NFL is “evaluating” a game in China, Goodell said. “That’s something we’d like to do.”

Why NFL finally hired full-time officials

The NFL took an important step Wednesday in what has been a five-year process to convert its officials into full-time league employees. After months of negotiations prompted by the NFL competition committee, the NFL Referees Association (NFLRA) agreed to the structure of a modest transition during the course of the 2017 season.

How will this work? What will this mean for the industry? And, most importantly, will it improve the state of officiating? Let’s take a closer look — even closer than we did in this post from December.

Hold up. NFL officials weren’t already full time?


How could that be?

The current structure is a vestige of an otherwise forgotten era when almost everyone in the game — including players and coaches — were seasonal employees who had other jobs in the offseason. To this day, the NFL’s 124 officials work on a contractor basis. They are paid well, but most of them have “day” jobs during the week and throughout the offseason.

Some, including referees Walt Anderson and Terry McAulay, are officiating supervisors at the college level. Others have careers entirely unrelated to football. They are attorneys — including referees Ed Hochuli, Ronald Torbert and Clete Blakeman — as well as insurance agents, high school principals and financial advisers.

What’s the problem with that? Officials work one game per week for less than half the year.

This is where the issue gets sticky. Not everyone thinks that converting officials to full-time status would, by definition, improve their performance in games. It’s not as if they’ll be able to officiate more games, and thus get more “practice,” if they are full time. In March, NFLRA executive director Scott Green said it is a “complete misnomer” to suggest that officials weren’t already full time, in terms of time commitment relative to the job requirements.

Preach …

It appears the NFL has been more focused on finding common ground for the process of conversion, and the requirement of full-time status, than the details of what would come next. In a news release, the league wrote that the implementation of the program will “provide the NFL officiating department, in consultation with the NFLRA, the opportunity to identify the most effective ways to utilize the off-field time for game officials throughout the calendar year.”

In other words, we’ll see what the best and brightest will come up with.

Pretty much.

But somebody must have really wanted this.

Oh, without question. It’s simple, in theory. How can the NFL claim to be officiating its games as well as possible if its officials spend most of their professional time in unrelated pursuits? New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton called the situation “madness” last year, reflecting the growing objections from coaches, players and fans to non-full-time status.

So are you saying this is a semantic change for appearance sake?

Not really. Ultimately, this shift can improve officiating. But it might not be reflected in terms of on-the-field accuracy, which is actually quite good on a per-call basis. You’ll more likely see it manifested in off-the-field arenas, such as the development of rules that are more easily officiated, via offseason working groups and discussion among full-time officials who otherwise wouldn’t have had time or the organization to dive into such matters.

It also stands to reason that full-time officials can be in the league’s New York offices on a regular basis. There is no substitute for in-person communication on issues that arise.

Beginning immediately, any of the NFL's 124 officials can apply for full-time status. But they don't have to drop their "day" job completely.

Beginning immediately, any of the NFL’s 124 officials can apply for full-time status. But they don’t have to drop their “day” job completely.

What do officials think of this?

The reality is that they agreed to the possibility in 2012, when the most recent collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and NFLRA was reached. But the league had never approached the NFLRA with a structure that would entice officials to change their career aspirations. Financial details weren’t immediately available, but both sides must feel confident that there is proper incentive for at least 10 percent of the current officials to be interested.

This is targeted only at referees, right?

No. Any of the league’s 124 active officials can apply. Former vice president of officiating Mike Pereira once endorsed a plan to make the league’s 17 referees full time, but Green and the NFLRA insisted on opportunity for all.

Pereira’s thinking was that the referee, as the crew chief, would provide maximum value to the full-time program. Green, however, said that a blended group would maximize knowledge and experience.

So how will this work?

Beginning immediately, any of the 124 current officials can apply for full-time status. They will be allowed to work outside of the league, according to the agreement, but their NFL duties must be given top priority.

“It is definitely a priority shift,” Green said. “The NFL will have to be their priority employer. But there is no restriction other than ‘be available,’ and ultimately the NFL will decide if you’re able to do that.”

Will the full-time officials have to move or commute to New York?

No, but they will be required to travel to meetings on 48 hours’ notice.

Can the NFL require an official of interest to accept full-time status as a requirement for continued employment?

No. The application process means that it cannot be made compulsory.

Is this change permanent?

Actually, no. The sides amended the CBA to reflect the details of the program, but it is technically a one-year experiment that would have to be renewed in order to proceed beyond June 2018.

Why would an official take the plunge without a guarantee it will last beyond one year?

Some officials are retired or semi-retired from their current job. Some feel confident they can keep their side work while prioritizing the NFL. Remember that the cap at this point is 24, which is only 20 percent of the current roster. Advanced math suggests that 80 percent of officials in 2017 won’t be full time.

Anything else, smart guy?

That’ll about do it, for now …

NFL insiders debate the best of the 25 players, the first year of the coach, more

With the release of Football Outsiders’ list of top 25 breakout prospects and under-25 talent team rankings, we decided to poll our NFL Insiders on the league’s youth movement. Who’s the best under-25 offensive and defensive player? Which under-25 quarterback would you pick to start your franchise? Our crew of Insiders has all the answers.

Who’s the NFL’s best under-25 offensive player?

Dan Graziano, national NFL writer: Odell Beckham Jr. Too much of the wrong stuff about the New York Giants star gets too much of the attention. Call up his stats page and look at what he has delivered on the field in his first three years. Elite production. Electric performance. Superstar.

Mike Sando, senior NFL writer: Good luck finding an offensive lineman or tight end to compete with 25-and-under stars from other positions. I’ll give Beckham the edge based on three years of sensational production. He turns 25 during the 2017 season, however, so if you’re looking for someone younger, consider Ezekiel Elliott, Mike Evans or Dak Prescott.

The Giants have two of the league's emerging stars in Odell Beckham Jr. and Landon Collins.

The Giants have two of the league’s emerging stars in Odell Beckham Jr. and Landon Collins.

Scott Kacsmar, assistant editor of Football Outsiders: While Beckham has been great for three years, I have to go with Prescott after arguably the greatest rookie season in NFL history by a quarterback. As a rookie he sustained the type of efficiency that we have seen only from the group of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees in this era. I think he’ll be more like Russell Wilson than Robert Griffin III when it comes to parlaying rookie success into sophomore success for the Dallas Cowboys.

Kevin Seifert, national NFL writer: Elliott is the first name that came to my head and I’m sticking to it. It’s true that Beckham is electric and a threat to score every time he touches the ball, which as a receiver has meant about seven times per game. Elliott is also a potential game-breaker whenever he gets the ball. That was about 24 times per game last season. Those who over-credit the Cowboys’ strong offensive line for Elliott’s success are missing a runner of exceptional instincts and open-field skills.
Field Yates, NFL Insider: It’s Beckham. He’s sizzling with the football in his hands and nearly impossible to defend in man coverage. He looks like he has been shot out of a cannon when he catches a slant pattern, with the ability to turn the routine into six points on a moment’s notice.

OK, what about under-25 defender?

Graziano: It’s Joey Bosa, who held out of training camp as a rookie, missed four games to start the season, and still finished with 10.5 sacks. The Los Angeles Chargers pass-rusher is a monster difference-maker at a premium defensive position. I’d build a defense around him. A rookie with double-digit sacks isn’t something you see every year.

Sando: Bosa made an immediate impact as a rookie despite a contract dispute that kept him away from the team for an extended period. He’s in position to pull away from the field of under-25 defenders now that he is fully ramped up heading into a season. It’s notable, however, that the Giants could make a case for having such outstanding under-25 guys on both sides of the ball (Beckham and Landon Collins).
Kacsmar: Collins and Vic Beasley Jr. were All-Pros last season, but Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters has been a ball-hawking corner for two years now. Interception rates are lower than ever, and individual defenders often have a hard time of sustaining this success, but Peters has 17 takeaways in two seasons. His coverage metrics are also impressive.

Seifert: Since the start of his career in 2015, Peters has disrupted more dropbacks (41) than any single defender in the NFL. His disrupted dropback percentage (3.1) is second-best to J.J. Watt. This ranking includes interceptions, sacks, batted passes and passes defensed, and it provides a wide-ranging and weighted look at how many “plays” a defender makes. Peters is already among the NFL’s best, under 25 or otherwise.

Yates: Factoring in positional value, football confidence and playmaking skills, I’ll take Peters. A top-shelf cornerback not only requires unique physical tools, but also the ability to play with a short memory. Peters has limitless confidence that allows him to get his hands on so many footballs, while also seemingly never living one play behind. The most important play — regardless of what happened positively or negatively on the last one — is the next one. Peters has the mindset of an elite player.

Which under-25 QB would you pick to start your franchise?

Graziano: Give me Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Yeah, I know, turnovers, but this guy has proven himself as a leader and a winner at the college level and has already won more more than anyone expected him to at the pro level. He’s 23, and his teammates revere him.

Sando: Dak Prescott would be my choice over Winston, but if you chose one, I’d happily take the other. Injury concerns prevent Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota from factoring into the equation. Prescott’s ability and/or willingness to protect the football gives him the edge over Winston. Both are special in their own ways.

Dolphins and Ryan Tannehill next step; sources said that Jay Carter was interested

The Miami Dolphins find themselves in a complicated, complex situation at the quarterback position — one that will take time to figure out but ultimately likely won’t get much easier. And it all comes back to one daunting question:

How much does Ryan Tannehill trust his left knee?

The good news: A noncontact injury during practice Thursday led to an MRI on Tannehill’s left knee that did not show any full tears that would necessitate surgery, team sources said. The bad news: The results did show a setback, even if the extent is debatable.

And while the team continues to await more test results on the quarterback’s knee — one in which he initially sprained the ACL and MCL last December, but did not need surgery — team officials still realize it might be the best long-term solution to have Tannehill undergo a procedure that would fully repair the partially torn ligaments. Such a scenario probably would end his season, and team sources say that scenario remains on the table.
In an ideal time frame, the Dolphins could take a few weeks to slow-play this decision. But with five weeks to go before their regular-season opener, the team will face a plethora of possibilities, some of which might require a faster move than others.

One example: Sources said that Jay Cutler would be willing to delay his broadcast career at Fox to play for Dolphins coach Adam Gase, who helped him revitalize his career when he was the QB’s offensive coordinator with the Bears in 2015. But Cutler plans to consider such a move only if he gets the chance to be the full-time starter (and get starter money) for the entire season. (Cutler views this as the only practical QB job he’d consider at this point, sources said.)

Sources, meanwhile, said Cutler is the one who has the initial interest in playing for Gase, and the Dolphins have not yet gone down that road. For now, they are maintaining patience and continuing to treat Tannehill as their 2017 starter. But they would seemingly need to make the call on Cutler (and ultimately Tannehill) sooner than later to get Cutler into camp.

The Dolphins do have a competent backup in Matt Moore, who took over first-team reps for the remainder of Thursday’s practice after Tannehill was hurt. But Moore was prone to some big hits last season that could make him vulnerable to injury, as well.

That brings up another option: If the team wants more time to contemplate Tannehill’s health, it could turn the job over to Moore in the short term and sign a veteran backup, such as Colin Kaepernick, as a budget-friendly player with experience.

Sources told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that Kaepernick’s name also has been brought up within the Dolphins’ front office as potential insurance at the position. Miami owner Steve Ross has shown in recent years to be very open-minded regarding social issues, defending the choices of some Dolphins players last season when they chose to join Kaepernick by taking a knee during the national anthem. Gase, too, is known as a player’s coach willing to maintain an open mind on off-the-field beliefs.

Tannehill is coming off his best, most efficient season in 2016, going 8-5 as a starter with a career-best 93.5 passer rating before he suffered the season-ending injury on Dec. 11. Moore went 2-2 while filling in for Tannehill, who didn’t require surgery.

“I just saw him kind of buckle and go down. I didn’t see any details,” offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen said of Tannehill’s injury Thursday. “… There was no contact on the play. That was all I really saw.”

Said tight end MarQueis Gray: “I saw it, but I have no idea what the outcome will be. We’re just praying for him. We don’t know what’s going to happen.”

This is another key injury for the Dolphins in the first week of training camp. Pro Bowl running back Jay Ajayi suffered a concussion during Monday’s practice and is in the concussion protocol.

In addition, starting left guard Ted Larsen suffered a biceps injury Thursday and was expected to miss at least several weeks of the regular season, according to multiple reports.

“The initial reaction is just be the next man up,” Christensen said of Tannehill’s injury. “You gotta keep going. You gotta keep guys going and you can’t let the air go out of practice. That’s football. [Injuries] are going to happen somewhere in this season. It’s going to happen somewhere in this game.”

Dolphin QB Ryan Tannehill want to put knee problems rest

DAVIE, Fla. — Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is already growing tired of questions about his left knee. He was asked throughout spring practices and minicamp and couldn’t avoid the same questions during the first week of training camp.

“The knee is really good. It feels really good,” Tannehill said with a grin. “I haven’t had any changes since the spring. I was a full participant in the spring and still going really well.

Ryan Tannehill has no concerns about his knee and is instead focused on the bigger picture for the Dolphins.

Ryan Tannehill has no concerns about his knee and is instead focused on the bigger picture for the Dolphins.

“Now we don’t have to address that anymore, right? [Laughter.] We’re good?”
Tannehill suffered a sprained ACL and MCL and missed the final four games of last season, which included Miami’s playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Many were surprised his knee didn’t require surgery. But the Dolphins and Tannehill, who is arguably one of the toughest players on the team, decided rehabbing the knee and wearing a brace was best.

Now, all eyes are on Tannehill to see if anything will change with his mobility and playing style. So far, he hasn’t missed any practice time, and it doesn’t look like last season’s knee injury will have a negative impact going forward.

Tannehill has perhaps the most complete supporting cast of his pro career. Miami has a Pro Bowl receiver in Jarvis Landry, a speedy deep threat in Kenny Stills, a talented former first-round pick in DeVante Parker, a red zone weapon in tight end Julius Thomas and a balanced running game led by Pro Bowl tailback Jay Ajayi.

The Dolphins are building an offense that’s flexible, depending on the opponent and Tannehill’s ability to be consistent in the passing game.

“You look at our toolbox, I think we’re pretty stacked,” Ajayi said of Miami’s offense. “Now we know what the weapons are. We all have to contribute. We have to play even more than what’s expected of us, and we’re excited to go do that.”

The flip side to having a plethora of weapons is Tannehill must also keep his skill players happy. Landry set an NFL record for most receptions (288) made during a player’s first three seasons and he demands plenty of targets. Parker is a budding talent and needs the ball more. The Dolphins acquired Thomas for a reason, and head coach Adam Gase said he’s not afraid to give Ajayi 300 carries this season if that’s what the defense dictates.

“It all evens out at the end if you do it right,” Gase said. “I’ve seen it before. I’ve experienced this before, especially in 2013 and 2014 [in Denver]. I mean, there were a lot of guys you had to get the ball, and everybody just kind of did what they were supposed to do and it works out right in the end.”

Last year Tannehill posted a career-high 93.5 passer rating and went 8-5 before the injury. A similar rating or better would go a long way to helping Miami make the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, which would be a productive next step for both Tannehill and the Dolphins.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to me on individual stats,” Tannehill said. “I want to win games, put us in the playoffs and win the division, be in the Super Bowl. That’s our goal. That’s what we set out each and every year to do is to win games, make the playoffs first, win the division and be in the Super Bowl.

“It’s tough to say what exactly is success. But for me, that’s my goal right now is to put this team in position to win and win a lot of games and compete for a championship.”