Cody Kessler was ready for move, happy to be in Jacksonville

The Browns moved on from Cody Kessler after the 2016 season, so the quarterback admits he was ready to move on from Cleveland after last season.

The Browns traded him to the Jaguars on March 28, giving Kessler a fresh start.

“My agent was talking to them, and obviously they got Tyrod [Taylor] and what happened last year, I think I didn’t really have a future there,” Kessler told Mike Kaye of First Coast News. “I told my agent I wanted [another] opportunity…. It was kind of a long process through it all and obviously, I’ve only been in the league for two years, so I didn’t really know how it worked, but [my agent] just told me, ‘If that’s what you want to do, we’ll work on it and see what we can do.’”

Daily fantasy sports. Three full seasons have passed since daily fantasy crashed headlong into every sport, none more visibly than the NFL, which again defined it as legal and acceptable just like in conventional fantasy. The states that challenged their legality changed their tunes long ago.

“John has led two different franchises to the Super Bowl and he has a great football acumen, just the kind of experience and perspective we were looking to add to our NFL studio coverage,” senior coordinating producer Seth Markman said in the statement. “In addition to his football smarts, John is also a great storyteller and he has a fun personality, so we expect fans to see a different side of the former coach in his new analyst role.”

Fox was fired at the end of last season after the Bears finished the regular season 5-11, bringing his overall record in Chicago to 14-34 during his tenure. He is 133-123 in 16 years as head coach.

Even when they won their only Super Bowl with Drew Brees and Sean Payton, the Saints were a one-dimensional team. Gregg Williams ran an — ahem — aggressive defense, but it wasn’t necessarily a good defense, just an opportunistic one. Last year things magically changed in New Orleans, thanks in large part to a historically good draft class that featured Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Williams, first- and second-round picks respectively, step up in a big way and improve the defensive side of the ball.

Among the biggest changes: The covering team can’t get a running start before the kick; all but three players on the return team must line up within a 15-yard “setup zone” beginning 10 yards from the spot of the kick; and all those players at midfield can’t hit each other until the ball hits the ground or is caught by the receiving team.cowboys_073

Cleveland cleanse: Browns coach Hue Jackson to jump in Lake Erie

Before diving into the 2018 season, Hue Jackson will plunge into Lake Erie.

The Browns coach will uphold the promise he made following his first season in Cleveland and jump in the lake on June 1.

“It’s just been a good mix. Guys have been here so long that they know what they need to do and what the team needs to do to find success,” said Stephenson.

Carlson said the veterans have to guide the younger players a bit differently.

“You have different conversations, there’s a different feel in the room. But ultimately it comes down to trying to be a positive influence on the kids. Show them work ethic, that sort of thing. But get them engaged, show them what it takes to play in this league. Everybody comes in with a boatload of skill, but it’s about grooming the personality to fit with the game,” he said.

Of course, bringing a bit of personality to a team mired in postseason heartbreak can be a good thing, too.

Bryant has had a hard time finding any team willing to sign him. Although he was once among the league’s elite receivers, his production has declined of late, and he hasn’t always been known as the easiest player to get along with, which could scare some teams off. He still has a couple months before training camps open to find a team.

“For me, it’s normal,” said Jose Calderon, who is Spanish. “I’m used to it. In Europe, everybody does that. Every team goes looking the exact same way every time to play. Depending what is your team, you can go all with the same sweats, you can go all with the same suits, but usually everybody dresses to travel the same.”

The Cavs aren’t as strict with the dress code as many European teams — they don’t wear the suits on the plane, for instance — but even the times they do wear the suits has taken some getting used to for a few players.ravens_142

New helmet rule may have far more limited impact than language would suggest

In March, the NFL owners adopted a broad, ominous rule that generally prohibits lowering the helmet to initiate contact. If enforced as written (which, frankly, all rules should be), it would result in a dramatic impact on the game.

As mentioned during Wednesday’s PFT Live, the NFL needs to get its act together, its story straight, and its messages consistent and understandable on this rule, as soon as possible. It’s one thing to implement rules aimed at trickling down to youth football and, in turn, saving it. It’s quite another to break pro football along the way.

And with a potential nationwide proliferation of legalized gambling coming very soon, the last thing the NFL needs is another vague, ambiguous, and arbitrary rule that will provide conspiracy theorists with fodder for thinking that the fix may be in, once the flags start flying — or not — during games.

Freeman, 32, signed a three-year deal with the Bears before the 2016 season. But injuries and suspensions limited him to 13 games in two seasons.

He played only one game last season, making 10 tackles.

After the league handed him a 10-game suspension, Freeman said he was dealing with a head injury and experiencing memory loss.

Freeman made it to the NFL from Division III Mary Hardin-Baylor via the Canadian Football League. He played six NFL seasons, totaling 647 tackles for the Colts and Bears. He spent three years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders before the Colts signed him in 2012.

Today’s episode has a pair of interviews, plus plenty more. Conversations include one with Jets G.M. Mike Maccagnan, and one with Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

The second interview lasts a solid 40-45 minutes, primarily because I wanted to keep Rapoport on the line long enough for him to have to hang up on me abruptly. Alas, it never happened.broncos_050_809bc2c864b8ac8d-180x180

Robby Anderson’s attorney says failure to show was misunderstanding

The attorney for Robby Anderson said the receiver did nothing wrong. Ed O’Donnell told Darryl Slater of NJ Advance Media that he never received notification that Anderson was due in Broward County court Tuesday, which is why neither he nor Anderson showed up.

“This was no negligence on Robby’s part, and certainly not on mine,” O’Donnell said, via Slater.

The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Whittaker helped out on special teams as a kickoff returner, totaling 856 yards on 38 returns (22.5 yards per attempt) over the past four seasons for the Panthers.

Whittaker, 29, entered the league in 2012 out of Texas. He had stints with the Cardinals (2012), Chargers (2013) and Browns (2013) before signing with the Panthers in 201

On his career, Whittaker has appeared in 67 games, totaling 149 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 67 attempts, while adding 552 yards receiving and four touchdowns on 68 catches. He has totaled 67 kickoff returns for 1,494 yards.

The Chiefs drafted Kahlil McKenzie in the sixth round, commencing some good-natured (we think) trash talk between the AFC West rivals, and Johnson switching sides in the rivalry after 13 seasons won’t do anything to slow that down.

Dave Gettleman continued his overhaul of the New York Giants ‘ running back room by jettisoning Paul Perkins on Thursday.

The former 2016 fifth-round pick entered this past season with some hype after a promising rookie year, but injuries limited him to just 11 games, and poor play (2.2 yards per carry) made him expendable when Gettleman decided the position needed change.

The new Giants general manager had a busy offseason moving pieces on New York’s RB depth chart, letting Orleans Darkwa walk in free agency, adding former Panthers power back Jonathan Stewart and drafting Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick.

In keeping flashy rookie Wayne Gallman on board, there clearly became no room for Perkins, and Gettleman and the team announced they waived Ben McAdoo’s former starting tailback on Thursday afternoon.

Steelers add 13 undrafted free agents after draft

The Steelers signed 13 rookie free agents after the draft ended on Saturday and three of them will be staying in Pennsylvania after playing their college ball in the state.

Wide receiver Quadree Henderson has the shortest trip of the trio. He played at Pittsburgh and returned a pair of punts for touchdowns during the 2017 season. He had seven return touchdowns over the course of his career, so he should get a look on special teams once he starts practicing with the team.

Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia, as well as the team’s leadership, released statements late Wednesday evening reacting to The Detroit News’ report Patricia had been indicted, but not tried, for an alleged sexual assault in 1996.

As someone who was falsely accused of this very serious charge over 22 years ago, and never given the opportunity to defend myself and clear my name, I find it incredibly unfair, disappointing, and frustrating that this story would resurface now with the only purpose being to damage my character and reputation, Patricia wrote in a statement.

With no teams showing significant interest in Bryant, maybe he eventually decides to take the veteran minimum simply to prove his Dallas doubters wrong. And maybe, if he’s willing to play for the minimum, other currently uninterested teams in the NFC East suddenly will become very interested.

Regardless of whether (and where) Bryant finds a team, a frank explanation of how and why Dez no longer has it serves no purpose for the Cowboys. If he truly no longer has it, that will become clear in 2018. If he still does, the Cowboys will look bad, and Dez will be feeling pretty good.

The other thing I’ve learned about quarterbacks that’s super important—as long as they’re your quarterback, even if you have stretches where you’re angry with them, they need to know you believe in them. Eli needs to feel that we believe in him, because we do. The Giants have done more than told the world that now; they’ve shown it. And that sets up an interesting couple years for a proud franchise looking to rebound.broncos_123_b362a4698d66a5eb-180x180

Reuben Foster pleads not guilty to felony charges

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the three felony charges he faces from a February incident, according to the Santa Clara County (Calif.) District Attorney’s Office.

A preliminary hearing has been set for May 17.

The 24-year-old Foster was charged with domestic violence with an allegation that he inflicted great bodily harm; forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime; and possession of an assault weapon. If convicted on all counts, Foster faces the possibility of more than 11 years in prison.

Less than a week after Eric Reid filed a collusion grievance against the NFL, the NFL Players Association has filed a non-injury grievance and a system arbitrator case on his behalf. Over the past two seasons, Reid has participated in protests during the national anthem — a movement that was started by Colin Kaepernick and has been carried on by other players despite his absence from the league — and has been unable to find a new team since becoming a free agent this offseason.

Tony transformed our entire organization and established a winning culture that set the foundation for the most successful era in our franchise’s history. Through his exceptional leadership, Tony set a new benchmark for excellence on and off the field that we still strive to achieve to this day.

Dungy will be the 12th member in the Ring of Honor. He was previously inducted into the Indianapolis Colts ‘ Ring of Honor in 2010.

I will always be grateful to the Glazer family for giving me my first opportunity to coach a team, said Dungy. It was an awesome time for me and my family as we encountered so many special players, staff members, and fans. This induction into the Buccaneers Ring of Honor puts a bow on all those great memories.

Last place to first? We rank the teams with the best chances to do it More In 14 of the past 15 years, a last-place team from the season prior has gone on to win its division the following year.sharks-045

Yankees, Matt Harvey an unlikely fit, source says

Matt Harvey grew up loving the Yankees and he might have a chance to put on pinstripes sooner than anyone imagined.

Don’t bet on it, a source with knowledge of the team’s personnel decisions told NJ Advance Media on Friday afternoon.

Philbin is at the front of a brand-new offensive staff, but it’s like his old one, with James Campen helping with the running game and offensive line and Jim Hostler overseeing the passing game and wide receivers. New quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti Jr. is the only true element of unfamiliarity for Rodgers.

We already knew this was happening, but Jason Witten is retiring from the NFL and heading to ESPN to join the Monday Night Football broadcast. The Cowboys tight end has informed owner Jerry Jones that he is calling it a career, according to a report from ESPN.

With the 2018 NFL Draft about to unfold last week, we learned that Witten would be retiring or was at least planning to retire. The Cowboys actually tried to bring him back, attempting to convince Witten to return as Dak Prescott’s safety blanket.

And through his pit stop in the minor league, Martin learned the importance of friendship. Former NHL teammates Scott Gomez and Jamie Langenbrunner checked in on him multiple times to see how he was doing. Martin also established relationships with players on the Barracuda.

“It’s been a tough year, and at my age, a big learning experience,” he says. “But you take it all in, you make some new friends, you try to ride it wherever it goes.”

With one year remaining on his contract, Martin isn’t ready to make declarations just yet. He’d like to play it out — whether it’s in San Jose or elsewhere — and he’s leaving the option open to playing after that. Because if he’s learned anything in his career, it’s that nothing is a guarantee.

“You know, oh, where is James [Harden] and DeMarcus [Cousins] at,” Lawson said of his mentality in his post-Denver NBA stops.

But Lawson rediscovered his offense in the CBA. He scored 55 points in the final game of the regular season. In the CBA semifinals, Lawson had 32 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and the winning 3-pointer in Game 4 against Guangsha.tigers_019-115x115