GridironGrit.com http://gridirongrit.com NFL, College Football, NFL Draft and Fantasy Football News Sat, 23 May 2015 00:05:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Watch: Tarik Cohen Makes Incredible One-Handed Backflip Catch http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/watch-tarik-cohen-makes-incredible-one-handed-backflip-catch/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/watch-tarik-cohen-makes-incredible-one-handed-backflip-catch/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 00:05:31 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=28064 Tarik Cohen knows he’s bound to be overlooked as a 5-foot-8, 172-pound running back from North Carolina A&T State University, a Div. II school that few college football fans have ever heard of. So he’s decided to increase his name recognition by putting together a highlight reel of incredible circus catches. Cohen […]

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Tarik Cohen knows he’s bound to be overlooked as a 5-foot-8, 172-pound running back from North Carolina A&T State University, a Div. II school that few college football fans have ever heard of.

So he’s decided to increase his name recognition by putting together a highlight reel of incredible circus catches.

Cohen recently posted a one-handed backflip catch to Instagram that just caught the attention of ESPN and FOX Sports’ Kristen Balboni, who calls the reception “the best backflip catch of all time.”

Thought I was done ? 😈😎@q_ceasar @22gears

A video posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀<img src=" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" />тarιĸ coнen<img src=" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" /> (@tarikcohen) on

Cohen, who is gearing up for a big junior season, is certainly worth a follow on Instagram.

Barely saw the ball. Hand-eye-coordination on a hunnid!! 👀🏈

A video posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀<img src=" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" />тarιĸ coнen<img src=" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" /> (@tarikcohen) on

Two can play that game . @22gears @q_ceasar ..<img src=" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" /><img src=" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" />😎 @o.bamiro lettin the cannon loose @heartofabest76 on the film

A video posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀<img src=" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" />тarιĸ coнen<img src=" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" /> (@tarikcohen) on

Definition of an athlete . 🏈🏀 #BallisLife @easy_moneyty on the camera ! And @o.bamiro also making a cameo

A video posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀<img src=" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" />тarιĸ coнen<img src=" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" /> (@tarikcohen) on

Cohen is obviously raising his profile with these incredible circus catches and trick shots, but he also delivers in game action. Over the past two seasons, he’s rushed for a combined 2,527 yards and 23 touchdowns and added 36 receptions for 389 yards and a pair of scores through the air.

Many are now going to be excited to see what he can do in 2015, which was presumably the reason he posted the videos.

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Report: Texans Favorites To Appear On ‘Hard Knocks’ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/report-texans-favorites-to-appear-on-hard-knocks/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/report-texans-favorites-to-appear-on-hard-knocks/#comments Fri, 22 May 2015 20:36:31 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=28062 The Houston Texans have reportedly emerged as the favorites to be featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks this August, according to ESPN’s Tania Ganguli and John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi proclaimed early Friday morning that the Texans, Redskins and Bills were each in the mix, but ESPN’s […]

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The Houston Texans have reportedly emerged as the favorites to be featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks this August, according to ESPN’s Tania Ganguli and John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi proclaimed early Friday morning that the Texans, Redskins and Bills were each in the mix, but ESPN’s John Keim has since reported that Washington is not in consideration.

Though Bills new head coach Rex Ryan an affinity for the spotlight, the fact that Buffalo has a new coaching staff in place seems to reduce its chances of appearing on the show later this summer.

Cleveland was considered the heavy favorite to be featured on Hard Knocks earlier this spring, but the Browns emphatically stated their opposition to appearing on the show at NFL meetings in late March.

According to Grossi, the main reason for their opposition “was to protect quarterback Johnny Manziel’s private recovery from an offseason drug and alcohol rehabilitation stint.”

Manziel’s stint in rehab ended in early April, and he’s since received loads of praise for his improved work ethic.

The Browns are one of nine NFL teams that can be forced to appear onto the show this summer (the Titans, Texans, Jaguars, Buccaneers, Giants, Redskins, Rams and Vikings are the other eight teams).

The other 23 NFL teams have the ability to opt out because they either have a first-year head coach, have appeared on the show within the last decade or have made the playoffs within the past two seasons.

Though one team is required to participate in the show every year (a rule that went into effect in 2013), NFL Films, which produces the series, doesn’t want an unwilling participant and is expected to grant Cleveland’s wish.

Seven different NFL teams have been featured in the annual sports-based reality series — the Ravens (2001), Cowboys (2002, 2008), Chiefs (2007), Bengals (2009, 2013), Jets (2010), Dolphins (2012) and Falcons (2014).

If the Texans end up on the show, the main storylines would presumably be centered around superstars J.J. Watt and Arian Foster, as well as the quarterback battle between Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer, the health status (and emergence) of Jadeveon Clowney and Brian Cushing and the post-Andre Johnson ascension of DeAndre Hopkins.

Check out a series of interesting videos below related to the Houston Texans.

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Michael Bennett: Playing For Pete Carroll is ‘Like Playing For Willy Wonka’ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/michael-bennett-playing-for-pete-carroll-is-like-playing-for-willy-wonka/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/michael-bennett-playing-for-pete-carroll-is-like-playing-for-willy-wonka/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 23:25:13 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=28048 What’s it like to play for Pete Carroll? Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett was just asked that very question and he gave a very interesting and amusing answer. “I would say he’s like playing for Willy Wonka,” Bennett told John Canzano of 750 AM The Game in Portland. “He’s […]

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What’s it like to play for Pete Carroll? Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett was just asked that very question and he gave a very interesting and amusing answer.

“I would say he’s like playing for Willy Wonka,” Bennett told John Canzano of 750 AM The Game in Portland. “He’s crazy. He wants to be young. He’s just one of those guys who’s always upbeat and just wants to have a good time because he lets you be yourself.”

Canzano responded by saying it’s difficult to imagine Bennett “playing for a stiff.”

“I’ve done it before, and it’s not fun. His name is Greg Schiano,” Bennett said.

Now that’s cold, but Bennett’s unconventional responses are always refreshing.

“He’s a great coach, but he was just hard on everybody,” Bennett said of Schiano. “He comes from a different type of background — real military-style like, the 1996 Belichick. He’s really tough. Overall I think his football knowledge is pretty good.”

It’s worth noting that Schiano plans on being a different coach when he returns to the sideline.

Bennett also gave an amusing comment when the topic of the agonizing Super Bowl XLIX loss came up and whether or not star running back Marshawn Lynch should’ve been given the ball.

“The inch that mattered,” Bennett said. “A lot of women understand that.”

Michael’s younger brother, Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett, also one of the NFL’s most quotable players. Back in 2013, he also compared his coach to Willy Wonka.

“I always say Coach (Marc) Trestman reminds me of the first Willy Wonka,” Bennett said. “Not the Johnny Depp one; the Johnny Depp one was really cool. But the first one. Before that. The 1943 version.”

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Teddy Bridgewater: I Want To Be Like Brett Favre http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/teddy-bridgewater-i-want-to-be-like-brett-favre/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/teddy-bridgewater-i-want-to-be-like-brett-favre/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 18:45:13 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=28046 Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater put together an impressive rookie season, throwing for 2,919 yards with a 14:12 TD-to-INT ratio with a 64.4 completion rate, 11th-best in the league. Lauded as ESPN’s top-ranked second-year breakout candidate, Bridgewater has his sights set on following in the footsteps of the NFL’s all-time passing […]

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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater put together an impressive rookie season, throwing for 2,919 yards with a 14:12 TD-to-INT ratio with a 64.4 completion rate, 11th-best in the league.

Lauded as ESPN’s top-ranked second-year breakout candidate, Bridgewater has his sights set on following in the footsteps of the NFL’s all-time passing yards leader and soon-to-be first-ballot Hall of Famer Brett Favre.

“If I could be like any other quarterback that played in the National Football League, I would have to say Brett Favre is the guy,” Bridgewater told Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

“Besides the injuries and the hits and everything, he had a pretty successful career. He’s a Hall of Famer for sure, multiple Super Bowls, and that’s something that I look forward to doing. Hopefully, I can win more Super Bowls (than Favre).”

Hoisting multiple Lombardi Trophies would unquestionably make Bridgewater an iconic figure in the NFL, but the 2014 Pepsi Rookie of the Year is only interested in emulating Favre’s on-field play.

“I hate to consider myself a celebrity,” Bridgewater said. “I’m still a quarterback in the National Football League. I shy away from celebrity status because I don’t want to be known as that guy. But I had a chance to partake in the events and the festivities of the Kentucky Derby, and that was a huge honor.”

Bridgewater’s focused on leading the Vikings to their first Super Bowl victory in their 54-year history.

“The ultimate goal, and that’s why you play this game,” Bridgewater said. “You play to the game to win, and that’s why I’m in Minnesota.”

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Antonio Smith Under Investigation For Child Abuse http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/antonio-smith-under-investigation-for-child-abuse/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/antonio-smith-under-investigation-for-child-abuse/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 16:26:45 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=28042 Denver Broncos defensive end Antonio Smith is reportedly under investigation for alleged child abuse. According to the report, Fort Bend County district attorney John Healey Jr. confirmed its child abuse division is handling the case against Smith. “Our Sheriff’s Office has received some information, they’re working with our office to […]

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Denver Broncos defensive end Antonio Smith is reportedly under investigation for alleged child abuse.

According to the report, Fort Bend County district attorney John Healey Jr. confirmed its child abuse division is handling the case against Smith.

“Our Sheriff’s Office has received some information, they’re working with our office to try and find out as much information as we can about the allegation,” Healey said, via 9News in Denver.

“At this particular point anything in reference to Mr. Smith is just that — an allegation.”

According to TMZ, the accuser claims there are multiple incidents dating back to 2010.

“We’re trying to discern the truth from the untruthfulness of the claim to decide what charges, if any, will be filed,” Healey told TMZ.

A rep for the Broncos told TMZ that the team just became aware of the allegation Wednesday night.

The versatile 33-year-old defensive end signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Broncos in early April. A former 2004 fifth round pick (No. 135 overall) out of Oklahoma State, the “Ninja Assassin” has appeared in 157 contests (133 starts) and recorded a total 302 tackles with 44.5 sacks, eight pass deflections and 11 forced fumbles in 11 seasons with the Cardinals (2004-08), Texans (2009-13) and Raiders (2014).

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Roger Goodell: NFL Looking To Play Games in Mexico, Germany http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/roger-goodell-nfl-looking-to-play-games-in-mexico-germany/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/roger-goodell-nfl-looking-to-play-games-in-mexico-germany/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 22:25:14 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=28040 NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Wednesday that the league is looking to hold regular season games in Mexico and Germany, as noted by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. This is new. Roger Goodell said the league is considering a regular season game in Mexico, says there is interest. I support […]

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced on Wednesday that the league is looking to hold regular season games in Mexico and Germany, as noted by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

It’s yet to be determined how soon this could happen, but it’s definitely an interesting topic to keep your eye on in the coming weeks and months.

“We had an international update on the tremendous growth we are seeing in our game on a global basis, not just the United Kingdom,” Goodell said (see the transcript here). “It was a great discussion on Mexico, Germany and also into South America so we’re very positive about that.

“Particularly in Germany, we know there is some interest in playing a game over there. We know there is a renewed interest in playing a game in Mexico – a regular season game. I think we will evaluate that. There’s been some interest in playing a Pro Bowl in Rio. So we are going to evaluate all those. There’s a growing passion for our game on a global basis and we want to respond it. We want to respond to it in the right way, in the right markets we think are a priority for us, so we can continue to grow this great game. We are excited about where we are. We are excited about the passion for our game and taking it to another level.”

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James Harrison Leg Presses Over 1,000 Pounds http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/james-harrison-leg-presses-over-1000-pounds/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/james-harrison-leg-presses-over-1000-pounds/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 02:57:00 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=28037 Few NFL players boast the strength, athleticism, determination and skills set to still be a productive player and valuable asset to their team in their mid-to-late 30’s. Pittsburgh Steelers 37-year-old All-Pro outside linebacker James Harrison is one of those few, and on Tuesday, his teammates walked into the weight room […]

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Few NFL players boast the strength, athleticism, determination and skills set to still be a productive player and valuable asset to their team in their mid-to-late 30’s.

Pittsburgh Steelers 37-year-old All-Pro outside linebacker James Harrison is one of those few, and on Tuesday, his teammates walked into the weight room and saw him pressing up over 1,000 pounds with his legs. Steelers guard Ramon Foster decided to capture the moment and share it on Instagram.

So you walk in the weight room and @jhharrison92 reminds you it's leg day 😳💪🏾. In his mid 30s. Over a 1000 pounds

A photo posted by Ramon Foster (@theramonfoster) on

Harrison played 39.9 snaps per game last season and amassed 45 tackles and 5.5 sacks through 11 games (four starts) after coming out of retirement to sign with the team last September.

The team wants to reduce his role and get him closer to 25 snaps per game in 2015, which should be very manageable after the addition of first-round edge rusher Bud Dupree.

But the five-time Pro Bowler and 2008 Defensive Player of the Year still offers valuable veteran leadership and impressive run-stopping skills in a situational role in the Steelers’ defense.

An honorable mention on our list of the 10 best undrafted players in NFL history, has racked up a total of 692 tackles with 71.5 sacks, 29 forced fumbles and six interceptions through 157 contests (109 starts) since entering the league as an undrafted free agent out of Kent State in 2002.

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Report: Derek Carr Suffers Injury, Could Need Surgery http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/report-derek-carr-suffers-injury-could-need-surgery/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/report-derek-carr-suffers-injury-could-need-surgery/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 23:45:51 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=28035 Oakland Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr has suffered a finger injury that “may require surgery,” according to ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen. Carr could miss the rest of OTAs, but the team is “optimistic” he’ll be ready for training camp. Even if has to sit out during training camp, however, […]

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Oakland Raiders starting quarterback Derek Carr has suffered a finger injury that “may require surgery,” according to ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen.

Carr could miss the rest of OTAs, but the team is “optimistic” he’ll be ready for training camp. Even if has to sit out during training camp, however, the Raiders aren’t concerned about his absence.

“Time missed in May is better than time missed in September,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said, via CSNBayArea.com. “You’re often more capable of taking whatever time is necessary to make sure you put things behind you.”

With Carr sidelined, Christian Ponder is working with the first-string offense, while Matt McGloin and Cody Fajardo try to prove themselves in a battle for a spot on the team’s final 53-man roster.

Facing a potentially make-or-break second season, Carr needs all the time he can get to build a rapport with Amari Cooper, the No. 4 overall pick in the draft, as well as recently-signed veteran WR Michael Crabtree, rookie tight end Clive Walford and several other new teammates.

Nevertheless, Carr needs to take necessary precaution in order to be ready for the regular season.

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Chargers Bolster Offensive Line, Land Top Free Agent http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/chargers-bolster-offensive-line-land-top-free-agent/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/chargers-bolster-offensive-line-land-top-free-agent/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 19:35:51 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=28033 The San Diego Chargers landed arguably the top remaining free agent and bolstered their offensive line on Tuesday, signing OT Joseph Barksdale to a one-year contract. The #Chargers will sign OT Joseph Barksdale to a 1-year deal, source said. Base minimum, $350K to sign, $1M more available in incentives. — […]

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The San Diego Chargers landed arguably the top remaining free agent and bolstered their offensive line on Tuesday, signing OT Joseph Barksdale to a one-year contract.

That’s exceptional value for San Diego, as the 6-foot-5, 326-pound right tackle has been arguably the best offensive lineman in St. Louis over the last two seasons, and he’s missed just three starts during that span.

His play regressed a little bit in the run game last year, but he was one of the league’s top right tackles in pass protection last season.

Just a couple of months ago, Rotoworld projected Barksdale to land a pretty big contract on the open market, roughly similar to the five-year, $32 million deal Jermey Parnell got in Jacksonville.

It was a mystery why his market was so quiet, until Turf Show Times revealed that he got married and left the country for his honeymoon around the start of free agency.

It’s a little puzzling that the wedding and honeymoon was scheduled for April, as he likely would’ve made millions if he would’ve gotten married in February, April, May or June.

But if he performs well in San Diego this year, he should land a big contract next spring.

Barksdale, 27, also drew interest from the Titans, Rams and Falcons, but the former 2011 third round pick (No. 92 overall) out of LSU visited the Chargers on Monday and apparently was sold on San Diego.

The addition of Barksdale could cause San Diego to kick D.J. Fluker inside to right guard. Chris Watt is penciled in at center with LG Orlando Franklin and LT King Dunlap holding down the left side.

Check out a series of interesting videos below related to the San Diego Chargers.

Meanwhile in St. Louis, second round pick Rob Havenstein (No. 57 overall) looks to replace Barksdale at right tackle. Third-round Louisville OT Jamon Brown (No. 72 overall) and fourth round Iowa OT Andrew Donnal (No. 119 overall) will also compete for playing time.

Prior to the draft, St. Louis’ projected starting OL stood as follows: LT Greg Robinson, LG Rodger Saffold, C Demetrius Rhaney, RG Brandon Washington and RT Garrett Reynolds.

Check out a series of interesting videos below related to the St. Louis Rams.

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Bill O’Brien ‘Impressed’ With Jadeveon Clowney, Says He’s ‘On the Right Track’ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/bill-obrien-impressed-with-jadeveon-clowney-says-hes-on-the-right-track/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/05/bill-obrien-impressed-with-jadeveon-clowney-says-hes-on-the-right-track/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 18:17:00 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=28031 After missing all but four games during a frustrating injury-plagued rookie season, some were already labeling Houston Texans edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney a draft bust. But last year’s No. 1 overall pick is “on the right tack,” according to head coach Bill O’Brien. “I’ve been impressed with the way JD’s […]

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After missing all but four games during a frustrating injury-plagued rookie season, some were already labeling Houston Texans edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney a draft bust.

But last year’s No. 1 overall pick is “on the right tack,” according to head coach Bill O’Brien.

“I’ve been impressed with the way JD’s been working,” O’Brien said, via the team’s official website. “He’s been out there. He’s in early. He’s rehabbing. But he’s also being able to take part in some of the things that we do in the weight room. He’s not able to do all of the things that we do on the field just yet, because of his rehab. But he’s on the right track.”

It remains to be seen when Clowney will be fully healthy and how effective he’ll be in 2015, as setbacks are common following microfracture surgery, which has also been known to derail careers.

Eagles edge rusher Brandon Graham, also a former first round pick, underwent the same surgery when he was Clowney’s age (22) back in December 2010 and he wasn’t back to his normal role until the 2012 season opener.

Last December, Colts offensive tackle Gosder Cherlius said Clowney was “screwed.”

“His game is all about explosion. That’s a problem,” said Cherlius, who had the operation in 2010. “I’m out there dancing. I’m an offensive lineman. That’s a different ball game. He’s screwed.”

According to Cherlius, Clowney “has to be fully, fully committed” to have a shot at redemption.

“They told me I would be back in 12 months,” Cherlius said. “I fought and came back in nine months. But it wasn’t right. It set me back for another six weeks. You are going to deal with stuff for the rest of your career. Period. You’re going to have to learn how to deal with it. And you have to be extremely disciplined. You have to do all the little things. Man, I’m telling you — it’s hard.”

Clowney also underwent surgery for a sports hernia last spring and then suffered a concussion last August during training camp. He returned in time for the season opener, but exited the game with a meniscus injury that required surgery and caused him to spend six weeks on the sidelines.

He returned to the field in Week 8 against the Titans, but missed the following week with an illness. After a Week 10 bye, Clowney came back healthy for two games before going down for the year.

“The key with JD is gonna be, once he’s cleared, then he’s got to go do it,”O’Brien said. “He’s a good football player. He’s an instinctive player. He understands what we’re trying to do in our defense.”

O’Brien also added that his 10-year-old son, Michael, asks him how Clowney’s doing every day.

“Every night when I get home, he asks me how Clowney’s doing,” O’Brien said in a recent season ticket holder Town Hall conference call. “This is probably the question that I get asked the most.”

The Texans fully expect Clowney to be “major contributor” in his second season and open the season as the starting outside linebacker opposite Whitney Mercilus, who signed a four-year contract extension earlier this month.

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