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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady countered the characterization in an ESPN The Magazine story that he “seemed liberated” after the team traded backup Jimmy Garoppolo.

The ESPN The Magazine story said “some players and staffers noticed that Brady seemed especially excited, hollering and cajoling.”

“I think that’s just such a poor characterization of anything. In 18 years, I’ve never celebrated when someone has been traded, been cut,” Brady said Tuesday in his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI’s Kirk and Callahan Show. “I would say that’s disappointing to hear that someone would express that, or a writer would express that, because it’s so far from what my beliefs are about my teammates.

“I think I’m very empathetic toward other people’s experiences. I know those situations aren’t easy. I’ve never been traded or released, but I can imagine how that might feel. I would never, ever feel that way about when Jimmy got traded, when Jacoby [Brissett] got traded. I’ve kept in touch with all those guys. When Matt Cassel was gone. All these guys I’ve worked with, I felt like I had such a great relationship with all the quarterbacks I’ve worked with. I kept in touch with basically everybody. So to characterize that as a certain way is just completely, completely wrong.”
Brady said he didn’t read the ESPN The Magazine story “cover to cover” but felt like he “got most of it.”

Asked if the story bothers him, he said on the program, “I think there are a lot of things that are said. I think you can go about your life, and certainly here with this team, and try to do what I’ve always done for a long time, and be a good teammate, and work as hard as I can to help the team win, and then somebody can write something to contradict that, and I think it’s up to everybody to believe what they want to believe.
“I don’t put too much thought into it, really. I feel like I have a great relationship with my teammates. If others don’t feel like they have a great relationship with me, that’s one thing, but I try to do what I’ve always done and be the best teammate I can be. I don’t think that’s ever really changed in my mind.”

Brady also denied preventing Garoppolo from working with Alex Guerrero while defending his relationship with his personal trainer and business partner.

“You guys obviously know how I feel about Alex and the work we’ve done together,” Brady said. “I just keep doing what my process has been and worked [for me] for a long time.”

Asked what was true in the story, Brady called that “a tough question.”

“Everyone has different truths,” Brady said. “When you talk about the way I see things, the way you guys see things, the way the writer may see things, the way Coach Belichick may see things, everyone has different truths based on their perspectives. I feel like I go about my business like I have every year, and again, I like to speak for myself, because that’s how — I don’t want to speak on someone else’s behalf or what their experiences are. I try to do the best I can do, like I’ve always done.”

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David Irving's future with the Cowboys depends on if he can become more reliable -- both on and off the field.

David Irving’s future with the Cowboys depends on if he can become more reliable — both on and off the field.

FRISCO, Texas — David Irving is the ultimate tease.

In eight games, Irving’s seven sacks were second on the defense to DeMarcus Lawrence’s 14.5. He had 19 quarterback pressures. The coaches credited him with 12 tackles, three tackles for loss, six pass deflections and a forced fumble.

“I keep thinking, ‘What if I had played all of the games?’” Irving said. “I probably could’ve got 15, 16, maybe more [sacks]. So I just got to come back next year, stay the hell out of trouble, hopefully don’t get injured and see what I can do next year.”

Irving missed the first four games last season because of a suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. He missed the final four games because of a concussion. There is nothing he could do to avoid the latter, but he could have done everything differently to avoid the former.

In 2016, Irving had four sacks, five tackles for loss, 26 quarterback pressures, five pass deflections and four forced fumbles, including three in one game. By the end of the season, he was the Cowboys’ best defensive lineman.

There are just not many people on the earth at 6-foot-7, 285 pounds who can do the things Irving can do on a football field.

When he came back from his suspension, he played mostly defensive end, but he shifted inside when the Cowboys moved Maliek Collins to nose tackle.

“Honestly, it doesn’t make any difference; put me at nose guard, left end, right end, three-technique, it really doesn’t matter,” Irving said. “Wherever I can make plays, wherever I can help the team. I’m capable of playing any position on the line, so wherever the coaches need me, wherever my team needs me.”

As for his health, Irving said he is “progressing slowly but surely.” The headaches are less frequent, and he hopes to be working out fully in a few weeks.

“It’s weird, man,” he said. “You’ve just got to rest up. Some days you have good days. Some days you have bad days, but the bad days are not coming as much.”
Consistency has been Irving’s issue, on and off the field. His talent will give him chances others won’t get, but he confounds coaches at times. He did not practice in part of the offseason for reasons not really known. He did not show up for the first reporting day of training camp at The Star before the Cowboys went to Oxnard, California.

Irving’s future depends on becoming more reliable. He is set to be a restricted free agent. The Cowboys are likely to give him the second-round tender in hopes that 2018 becomes the year he puts it all together, on and off the field.

Had Irving already showed he was responsible, the Cowboys might have opted for a long-term deal with a bigger financial commitment.

As he addressed the media Monday, Irving on multiple occasions talked about staying out of trouble, which is likely something he heard from the coaches in his exit interviews.

“You’ve got to be mature,” Irving said. “You have to be an adult. You have to be responsible. When you’ve got something to lose, it’s much easier to stay out of trouble. I’m definitely going to be staying out of trouble.”

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FRISCO, Texas — Dak Prescott threw for the first time since bruising his right hand in last week’s win against the Washington Redskins and pronounced himself ready to go.

“It felt great,” Prescott said after Wednesday’s practice. “There weren’t any restrictions. It didn’t feel like my hand was bothering me or any limitations on throwing the ball or anything.”

Prescott suffered the injury in the second quarter on an option pitch when he was hit by a Redskins defender. He remained in the lineup through that drive, which ended in a Dan Bailey field goal, but went to the locker room for X-rays, which were negative.

Because of Ryan Switzer’s punt return for a touchdown, Prescott did not miss an offensive snap. Rookie Cooper Rush was prepared to go in for Prescott. The swelling in Prescott’s hand started to go down after the game, and the quarterback said the hand was fine after a few days of massages and ice to further reduce the swelling.
Prescott wore a pad on the hand at the start of Wednesday’s practice but said he got rid of it not long into the session.

Officially, he is on the injury report as a full participant, but coach Jason Garrett was not worried about Prescott needing any practice time off.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said he threw without issue during practice on Wednesday. He suffered a bruised right hand last Thursday against Washington.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said he threw without issue during practice on Wednesday. He suffered a bruised right hand last Thursday against Washington.

“He did a good job in the game just coming back and being able to play through it,” Garrett said. “We think he’s going to be functional. We’ll see today. The biggest thing is gripping the ball and being able to throw it the way you want to throw it naturally, but he’s a tough guy, he’s a physically tough guy, he’s a mentally tough guy.”

Sunday’s forecast high temperature is 41 degrees for the Cowboys’ game at MetLife Stadium against the New York Giants. Last season, Prescott warmed up in snow with temperature at kickoff at 32 degrees.

Temperatures at today’s practice were in the low 50s, the coldest of the season.

“Today was a good day to prepare for that. Luckily it’s not too cold or whatever — 40 up there, I’ll take any day of the week, so I mean [I'm] excited for it. Good weather,” Prescott said. “Way better than last year. Yeah, I’m thankful for anything but snow right now.”

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Rarely one to be critical in public of his players, Andy Reid had little but compliments for the Kansas City Chiefs’ cornerbacks Wednesday.

But the Chiefs’ actions to an extent drowned out his words. The team would have had no reason to sign veteran cornerback Darrelle Revis if things were going well in its secondary.

“We’ve had some young guys in there trying their hearts out and doing a nice job for us, too,’’ Reid said, though the Chiefs have allowed more passing yards than all but four other NFL teams. “I think it’s a win-win. You get a veteran guy and you have some young guys that still continue to grow. It’s good for the football team. That’s a positive thing all the way around.’’

Reid wouldn’t say it, but this was a move the Chiefs had to make. Their pass defense was holding them back. The Chiefs have allowed 36 passes of 20 yards or more. Only four teams have yielded more.

“I don’t know about all that,’’ Reid said. “I would just tell you that you have an opportunity here to add a quality player and a quality player person to your team. [General manager] Brett Veach is always looking to upgrade, which is great.’’
Marcus Peters and Steven Nelson have been the starting cornerbacks, but the Chiefs have struggled to find any consistency from their third cornerbacks. They’ve gone through a rotation of Phillip Gaines, Kenneth Acker and Terrance Mitchell in recent weeks, but none has been able to help stem the tide of big pass plays.

Gaines allowed a 34-yard catch on fourth down in overtime in Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. The play set up New York’s winning field goal, and might have pushed the Chiefs into action. Revis said he’s been talking to the Chiefs for most of the season and it’s interesting they signed him only this week.

“The reason for me returning is the fire I have, the fuel I have to continue to play this game at a high level,’’ Revis said. “My role is to help win. Whatever is best for the team, whether my position is playing a few downs or playing in the slot, wherever coach wants to play me and feels he can utilize me to help win.’’

The Chiefs brought aboard seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis in an effort to shore up what has been a leaky pass defense.

The Chiefs brought aboard seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis in an effort to shore up what has been a leaky pass defense.

The idea is for Revis to join Peters in the starting lineup. Nelson would become the nickelback.

It works if Revis can be anything close to the player he was earlier in his career. He’s 32 and coming off what he acknowledged was his worst NFL season in 2016, when he played for the New York Jets.
The Chiefs expect the Revis of old whenever he gets on the field, whether that’s on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills or sometime afterward.

“I would tell you he looks great physically,’’ Reid said. “Time does that. Time will take a step away from you. That happens. But he’s a smart guy who knows how to play the game. That’s becomes important at this point in his career. I’m not telling you he can’t run. He can still run.’’

The chance is just as good that the Revis signing won’t work out for the Chiefs. His play in 2016 was that bad.

But his play can’t be a lot worse than some of what the Chiefs have already displayed this season. They owe it to themselves and their fans to find out.

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Safety Tashaun Gipson says he’s glad he got away from the Cleveland Browns organization and hopes the Jacksonville Jaguars score at least 40 points in Sunday’s matchup at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Oh, yeah: He also thinks the Jaguars’ defense will pitch a shutout.

“I truly hope that we hang 40 on them,” Gipson said during an interview with ESPN’s Freddie and Fitz radio show on Monday. “Their offense probably shouldn’t score against our defense and I’m excited. That’s the true thing.

“It’s personal, but yet at the end of the day you’re still blessed … knowing that I’m in a situation right now where I don’t look back about it. I don’t look back with any regrets. I’m extremely excited with where I’m at right now, but you know it’s definitely going to be personal man, for sure.”

That wasn’t the only shot Gipson took at the Browns during his interview. He also said he’s glad he’s no longer a part of an organization that has lost double-digit games in 12 of the past 14 seasons.

The Browns have won only two of their past 36 games and are the NFL’s only remaining winless team (0-9) in 2017. Gipson said the blame for that rests squarely on the front office and not the players. They’ve bungled decision after decision, he said, especially when it comes to quarterback.

“You look back and I feel bad for those guys because, like I said, it’s nothing that they can do. They just go out there and play,” Gipson said. “It’s the guys above them who make these decisions and, you know, it’s unfortunate. We’ve seen it time and time again, the opportunity that’s slipped by them.

“Every time [Eagles quarterback] Carson Wentz pop up on the TV, somebody brings it up [that the Browns didn't draft him]. I had to play against [Texans rookie quarterback] Deshaun Watson. It’s unfortunate what happened to him, but that’s going to be one of the best young quarterbacks in the league and one of the best quarterbacks in the league in the coming years.

“It’s things like that you just continue to scratch your head. You’ve just got to look back and say, ‘Man, I’m glad to get up out of there.’”

Gipson spent the first four seasons of his career with the Browns after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Wyoming in 2012. He developed into one of the better safeties in the league, making the Pro Bowl in 2014.

Gipson was one of four starters the Browns chose not to retain in the 2016 free-agency period; tackle Mitchell Schwartz (Chiefs), center Alex Mack (Falcons) and receiver Travis Benjamin (Chargers) were the others, all signing on the first day of free agency.

Gipson would go on to sign a five-year, $36 million contract with the Jaguars in March 2016, with $12 million guaranteed.

Gipson said that while he may not have fond memories of the organization, he appreciates the fan base.
“Coming from the situation in which I came, you know, the way that I made it to Cleveland, the opportunity that I was granted and just the path that I paved for myself — I’ll forever be in debt to the city of Cleveland because they helped me get to my first Pro Bowl, besides the God-given ability to go out there and make plays,” he said. “The fans, they supported me, they loved me, they brought me in. It was never a situation where it was any ill will to the fans. I don’t have any ill will because I’m blessed, but it’s going to be a little different and honestly it’s going to be exciting [to return to Cleveland].”

Gipson said he still speaks with Browns linebacker Christian Kirksey and secondary coach DeWayne Walker, who spent the past four seasons in a similar role with the Jaguars. Otherwise, Gipson has had minimal contact with former teammates.

“I can’t read minds, but I can only imagine what’s going on in those guys’ minds over there,” he said. “I mean, it’s pretty bad.”

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RENTON, Wash. — The Seahawks have acquired Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown in a trade with the Texans, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Seattle is sending cornerback Jeremy Lane to Houston along with a 2018 fifth-round pick and a 2019 second-round pick, sources told Schefter.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider confirmed that the trade has been agreed upon but said it had not been fully finalized yet. The trade comes one day before the NFL’s Tuesday trade deadline and one day after the Texans lost to the Seahawks in Seattle.

Schneider said the Seahawks are inheriting Brown’s current deal from Houston, which runs through 2018, and that there is no new deal beyond that. Brown is owed about $5 million for the remainder of this season and is scheduled to make $9.75 million in 2018.

“Because we acquired Duane, we want him to finish his career here and have him be here for several more years,” Schneider said.

Brown, 32, has spent his entire 10-year career with Houston, which selected him in the first round in 2008 out of Virginia Tech. He returned last week from a holdout and played 68 out of 71 offensive snaps Sunday against Seattle.

Brown posted a goodbye message to the Texans and their fans via his Instagram account.
Asked earlier Monday about the possibility of the Texans trading Brown, coach Bill O’Brien said: “I don’t have any say in that. You know what I mean? I coach the team, that’s what I do. Duane played well yesterday. Obviously he’s played well for us for a number of years. I have a lot of respect for Duane, but that’s the business side of things, and I just concentrate on coaching the team.”

On Friday, Brown was a vocal critic of Texans team owner Bob McNair’s comment saying, “We can’t have the inmates running the prison” during last week’s owners meeting in reference to ongoing player demonstrations during the national anthem.

The acquisition of Duane Brown should bring relief to the Seahawks' injury-depleted offensive line.

The acquisition of Duane Brown should bring relief to the Seahawks’ injury-depleted offensive line.

“I think it was ignorant,” Brown said. “I think it was embarrassing. I think it angered a lot of players, including myself. We put our bodies and minds on the line every time we step on that field, and to use an analogy of inmates in prison, that’s disrespectful. That’s how I feel about it.”

Schneider said the Seahawks had been talking with the Texans about Brown since Seattle lost starting left tackle George Fant to a torn ACL in the preseason. Rees Odhiambo, a 2016 third-round pick, has struggled while replacing Fant, as has Seattle’s offensive line as a whole this season.

The Seahawks previously met with free-agent left tackle Branden Albert, but nothing materialized.

The trade for Brown marks another bold move by Schneider, who had previously made deals for Marshawn Lynch in 2010, Percy Harvin in 2013 and Jimmy Graham in 2015.
Asked earlier Monday whether the Seahawks are hoping to make a trade before the deadline, coach Pete Carroll said: “You’re either competing or you’re not. You know John; he’s out there trying to figure out what’s going on. You never know.”

Adding Brown will require some salary-cap maneuvering by Seattle.

Brown’s contract with Houston includes a $9.4 million base salary for 2017, of which a little less than $5 million remains. The Seahawks had only about $1.4 million in cap space as of Monday, according to NFL Players Association records. So even with the remainder of Lane’s $4 million base salary for 2017 coming off the books, the Seahawks will have to clear room in some way to absorb Brown’s contract, unless they restructure it.

Seattle drafted Lane in the sixth round in 2012 and gave him a contract extension in March of 2016, after Lane came back from a broken wrist and torn ACL he suffered in Super Bowl XLIX against the New England Patriots.

Lane began this season as the Seahawks’ starting right cornerback but recently lost that job to rookie Shaquill Griffin. Lane returned Sunday after missing the past two games and most of a third with a groin injury. He began the game as Seattle’s nickelback but was replaced in that role by Justin Coleman after hurting his thigh, Carroll said.

Lane tweeted a farewell to the Seahawks shortly after the trade news broke and appeared ready to move on to the next chapter of his NFL career.
“We’ll miss him around here,” Schneider said. “He did a great job for us. He overcame his injury and everything from the second Super Bowl, but he had to be part of the deal.”