Minnesota Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks signed a contract extension, the team announced on Monday.

While the Vikings did not disclose terms of the deal, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that the pact is worth $50 million over five years with $25 million guaranteed. Kendricks recorded a career-high 136 tackles last season — with 13 coming in victory over the Cleveland Browns.

The 26-year-old Kendricks is the first Vikings player since Rip Hawkins (1961-1964) to lead the team in total tackles in each of his first three seasons. Kendricks has totaled 367 tackles while forcing and recovering one fumble in 45 career games since being selected by the Vikings in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He also returned both of his interceptions for touchdowns.

This scribe thinks that’s probably a bit far-fetched considering how much contract issues have meant to Thomas in the past. But it’s always a consideration, regardless. Thomas played for the Texas Longhorns in college and has made no bones about wanting to play for the Cowboys. This is something to keep an eye on going forward, especially because Seattle has already started blowing things up and needs more draft capital to make moves for the future.

Kelce added that he would have been able to play the team’s next game had the Chiefs advanced. But the Titans won, 22-21, outscoring the Chiefs 19-0 in the second half.

Kelce didn’t just miss the second half of a playoff loss, he also missed the end of Alex Smith’s time in Kansas City. The veteran quarterback was traded to Washington this offseason, clearing the way for Patrick Mahomes to take over the position and leaving Kelce with a new signal-caller this upcoming season.

He just took control out there on the first day, Kelce said of Mahomes, per the Associated Press (h/t the Tampa Bay Times). That was the biggest thing, seeing he does have control of the room at a young age. He’s not shy taking the lead.

Mahomes will certainly have plenty of talent to work with on offense. Along with returning stars in Kelce, running back Kareem Hunt and wideout Tyreek Hill, the team also added wide receiver Sammy Watkins in free agency.dolphins_086

Aqib Talib on landing in LA: I wanted to be comfortable

When the New England Patriots assemble for the first time since their defeat in Super Bowl LII, they might do so without one of their biggest stars. According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, tight end Rob Gronkowski doesn’t currently plan to participate in the team’s voluntary offseason conditioning program set to begin Monday.

Bryant is a free agent for the first time in his eight-year NFL career after being released by the Dallas Cowboys on Friday. 

The 29-year-old Bryant started all 16 games last season for the first time since 2014. He led the Cowboys with 69 receptions, 838 yards and six touchdowns. 

The flag-football gathering took place across the parking lot where the three life-size statues of Florida’s Heisman winners stand side-by-side outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium: Steve Spurrier, Tebow and Wuerffel.

Spurrier, a 1960s star who later returned as Gators head coach, found a perfect muse in Wuerffel to operate his Fun ’N Gun offense. Between 1993 and ’96, Wuerffel set multiple school, SEC and national passing records. The Gators won four straight SEC titles.

Wuerffel also did something Spurrier could never accomplish — he brought a national title home to the Swamp.

Gronkowski has been working out at Tom Brady‘s Sports Therapy Center, but even that has been rife with controversy.

Should UTEP’s Will Hernandez and/or Ohio State’s Billy Price slide, either guard would be a good value for Dallas in Round 2. The same goes for the draft’s top two tight ends, South Dakota State’s Dallas Goedert and South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst. At that latter position, at pick No. 81, Penn State’s Mike Gesicki or Oklahoma’s Mark Andrews would be a fine choice.

In the event Payne, Hurst or Bryan don’t get the call from the Cowboys on the first day, Dallas is better off waiting until the third day to address defensive tackle. For now, a tight end-linebacker combination is most likely here.

Poona Ford, DT, Texas: Ford was not invited to the NFL Combine because he was undersized (5-11, 303 pounds) for his pro position. But he’s relentless against the run with his powerful lower frame. dolphins_118

Nine NFL draft prospects most likely to bust

Risk vs. reward is the most classic proposition in any draft, of any sport. You know one guy has all the tools to succeed, but no one has a clue whether it’ll mean anything. The NFL draft especially seems to be filled with those players — high bust potential, but some team will talk themselves into picking them early.

Some of them will work out. Others, well, won’t.

This list focuses on that group of players, those who some scouts salivate over, but others just can’t convince themselves to like. Here are nine NFL draft prospects most likely to bust.

The tape told the same story as the numbers, and Landry sat out the Eagles’ bowl game. After a full offseason, Landry will probably fine, but probably is a dicey word. Injuries sometimes linger. If this one does, his talent may go to waste.

It’s not the usual circumstance for a running back coming off a1,000-yard season who also rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown two years ago in Super Bowl 50.

Then again, it could have been worse. It can always be worse. Anderson hasn’t been released a month after the start of free agency, as star receiver Dez Bryant was Friday by the Dallas Cowboys.

Bryant was let go in lieu of his $12.5 million salary. Anderson was on the trading block in part because of his $4.5 million salary but also because the Broncos want to create more playing time for Devontae Booker, De’Angelo Henderson and the running back they seem certain to select in the upcoming draft.

The Bills can continue their Panthers copycatting with this pick after getting their Heisman-winning QB earlier in the draft. McDermott needs someone to fly to the ball in the Luke Kuechly/Thomas Davis vein, as Lorenzo Alexander, who turns 35 in May, is their best linebacker.dolphins_012

Packers schedule 2018: Green Bay must protect Lambeau to reclaim NFC North

The Packers’ 2018 schedule goes through the NFC West and AFC East, and that is part of Green Bay’s path in trying to get back to the top of the NFC North.

The good news for the Packers as they examine their 2018 schedule is Aaron Rodgers is back, and Green Bay has won the division five out of 10 seasons since he took over as starting quarterback. Minnesota has won the division the last two seasons, and the Vikings are one of four playoff teams on the Packers’ schedule this season. Atlanta visits Lambeau Field, too, and Green Bay has road matchups against New England and the Los Angeles Rams.

Bottom line: It all depends on how the Packers re-assert their weight in the NFC North. Minnesota is on top now, and Green Bay has lost three of the last four to its bitter rival. Chicago and Detroit have improved. The Packers finished 2-4 against the NFC North last season. If that flips to 4-2 or better and Rodgers stays healthy, Green Bay should be able to get back to 10 or more wins, which they’ve done in seven of 10 seasons with Rodgers. Record prediction: 10-6

Colin Kaepernick’s legal team is shifting its focus from NFL owners for now as they prepare to depose NFL commissioner Roger Goodell later this month in connection to Kaepernick’s collusion lawsuit against the league, The Washington Post reports.

NFL front office figures and coaches already deposed by Kaepernick’s lawyers include Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Ozzie Newsome, Houston owner Bob McNair and Miami general manager Chris Grier.

The way Wuerffel sees it, the more success Gators United enjoys, the greater the exposure for Desire Street Ministries.

“It’s part of the way they talked me into playing,” Wuerffel said. “Part of my goal in life is to use the platform I have as a football player to affect other people. This is just another way to do it.seahawks_042

Giants reportedly view Saquon Barkley as ‘a near-perfect prospect’

“I thought all along this is the guy Dave wants,” said a national NFL scout who knows Gettleman from crossing paths with him on the road over the years. “And he might get him, if Cleveland is dumb enough not to take him at No. 1.”

Darby’s contract is expected to expire after this season, and it’s been believed that the Eagles would consider shopping Darby to add more draft picks later this month. While it seems less likely with Worley out of the mix, that might not have quite the impact you might think. It’s entirely possible the Eagles opt to draft a cornerback with the No. 32 pick in the first round. If that’s the case, Darby could still be on the move, especially if there are no plans to re-sign him. The Eagles think very highly of Jones, and if he’s ready to be a No. 1 corner, it might make sense to move Darby. 

4. Eagles are definitely drafting (at least) one defensive back . The Eagles need depth at safety. Behind started Rodney McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins, there’s only special teamer Chris Maragos and practice squad player Tre Sullivan.

Hardin told USA Today he was “concerned about the rhetoric” conveyed by police after Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo criticized Bennett during a press conference Friday.

“My initial reaction is that everyone needs to calm down a little bit,” Hardin said. “He’s a professional football player who is very respected for his work on social issues. I’m going to take my time to find out what occurred.”

And I wonder why I gain weight at training?!Crockett was expected to serve as the No.people, I have greivous news.If the motor drive went off at a different time or if wasn’t right front of me, it would’ve been a bad picture.At this point, the Reinsdorfs shouldn’t rule anything out.

Remember, his rookie contract is up after this year so he can become an attractive free agent.Over to the side.CAREER TRANSACTIONS ?Agreed to terms on a four-year contract, 5 15; Selected by the Saints the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, 5 15 ?Appeared 15 with 10 starts, missing his lone game of the on Nov.It showed when Smotrycz skyed for a rebound that he pulled down with authority.seahawks_094

49ers LB Reuben Foster charged in domestic violence case

49ers linebacker Reuben Foster has been charged with felony domestic violence against his live-in girlfriend, the Santa Clara District Attorney’s office announced Thursday.

“The 49ers organization is aware of today’s disturbing charges regarding Reuben Foster. We will continue to follow this serious matter,” the statement read. “Reuben is aware that his place in our organization is under great scrutiny and will depend on what is learned through the legal process.”

Foster was originally arrested Feb. 12 on charges relating to domestic violence, threats and possession of an assault weapon. The release notes the victim told police, “Foster dragged her by her hair, physically threw her out of the house, and punched her in the head 8 to 10 times.”

Foster will be arraigned on Thursday.

“I’m sure he’s hearing stuff and I’m sure he’s getting it from a lot of different ways. I’m not going finger point at anybody. I’m not going to get upset for who he’s pointing at or who he thinks did this.”

The Cowboys released Bryant on Friday following a meeting with team owner Jerry Jones. He had spent all eight seasons of his career in Dallas after the Cowboys selected him with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Although Bryant averaged 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns per season from 2012-14, injuries have attributed to his diminished performance in recent seasons. Still, Presott praised Bryant for his efforts during their time together.

“He was a great player,” Prescott said. “He did a lot of great things for us, obviously. He was a guy that man-to-man you’d go to. At this point, we’ve got to figure that out with the guys we got. I’m sure we’re going to go after guys in the draft or free agency. Who knows?seahawks_128

Bengals don’t bungle message to Eric Reid, protestors: No kneeling, or else

Eric Reid’s visit to the Bengals, which broke his freeze-out in NFL free agency, went sideways even faster than most would have expected. Pro Football Talk’s Wednesday morning report on the warp-speed collapse of the interview paints a picture of a signing that was never even close to happening.

It also tells you NFL owners are not going to let go of their hang-up about kneeling players — not now and not in the foreseeable future. It’s Bob McNair going on the record in the Wall Street Journal, and Stephen Ross letting his true feelings show at an awards dinner. Now it’s Mike Brown reportedly telling Reid he “intends to prohibit” kneeling-player protests during the national anthem, seemingly presented as a “gotcha” ploy to provoke a reaction.

Why trust their commitment to the one while they stand their ground against the other?

Meek Mill has the attention and support of an NFL owner. Kaepernick and Reid, actual NFL players rather than NFL intro music, must be wondering when their turns will come.

Vikings vs. Broncos, Week 1 — It’s the first week of the preseason so it’s highly unlikely the best players see the field for long, but this will be the first look the league gets at Kirk Cousins in Minnesota as well as a preview of Case Keenum in Denver. Both teams believe a new QB is the missing link to playoff success and will be heavily intrigued to see how the first dress rehearsal goes.

Bills vs. Browns, Week 2 — This one has everything to do with rookie QBs. While both teams picked up viable starting quarterbacks in AJ McCarron (Buffalo) and Tyrod Taylor (Cleveland), each team is absolutely in the market for a QB of the future and both will see significant time in this Week 2 matchup.

Giants vs. Jets, Week 3 — Again, this one is about the quarterbacks. The Jets are rumored to be in love with Baker Mayfield with the No. 3 pick and they will almost undoubtedly go after another QB if they somehow miss out on him in the draft. The Giants could draft a QB as well, but if they decide to go with a running back like Saquon Barkley or a defensive end like Bradley Chubb, the mere presence of talent like that on the field will be highly entertaining.

Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis has said some dumb things.

We don’t need to go down the list. But what he said Monday on FS1’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd may have been the dumbest yet.

Once healthy enough, Joe Thornton (knee) sets up as a wild-card asset with rich fantasy potential, as well. Unlikely to suit up for Game 1, the veteran top-liner remains a possibility to make his first appearance since late January at some stage in this series. On defense, Burns projects as a top fantasy defender if the Sharks manage to scrap their way into the conference final. Goalie Martin Jones can also grade out as a top contributor in fantasy pools if San Jose jumps through a few rounds. He brought his club to within a game of winning it all in 2016.

Again, there’s no ruling out the Ducks in what should be a highly competitive first-round battle with their in-state mates. So, fantasy competitors who side with Anaheim over San Jose should certainly give serious consideration to the club’s top trio of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Rickard Rakell. Getzlaf and Perry sport extra appeal in the been-there, done-that sense as proven playoff veterans. Third-line center Adam Henrique serves as an outside-the-box dark horse with two goals and three assists in his past four games. Defensemen Brandon Montour and Hampus Lindholm project limited value as power-play commodities with Cam Fowler (shoulder) likely shelved through the first round.

That salary makes Brady only the 16th-highest-paid quarterback in football, according to Spotrac. Sixteenth! He’s behind Kirk Cousins, Jimmy Garoppolo, Matthew Stafford, Drew Brees, Derek Carr, Andrew Luck, Alex Smith, Joe Flacco, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Cam Newton and Matt Ryan.

Rodgers is the only player who you could argue deserves to be paid more than Brady.

Jeff Howe of The Athletic discussed the subject of Brady’s salary in an article Tuesday. While Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Brady’s contract isn’t an issue at the moment, I find it difficult to believe it will stay that way.

There was at least one curious absence, though, and that player might have needed a better first impression than the rest: Ereck Flowers.

Flowers was not at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Monday, a source confirmed to The Record and NorthJersey.com, which was consistent with video from his Instagram story that showed some equipment on a grass field, but clearly not Quest.la_kings_012