Source: Jags to meet with Bridgewater again

The Jacksonville Jaguars have scheduled a second meeting and workout with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, a source said.

He also is scheduled to visit the Houston Texans next week. The Texans and Jaguars were among the teams that sent representatives to Bridgewater’s pro day at Louisville.
Bridgewater played three seasons for the Cardinals, amassing 9,817 passing yards and a .684 completion percentage. In his junior season, he connected on 71 percent of his passes, threw for 31 touchdowns and had a 169.7 passer rating. He entered last season as the unquestioned top quarterback prospect in college football after a sophomore season that included 3,718 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and a completion percentage of .685.
The Texans have the first pick in next month’s draft, and the Jaguars have the third. Although it’s possible each team uses its pick elsewhere, both have a need for a franchise quarterback, having traded away the players they had hoped would assume that role.
The Jaguars shipped Blaine Gabbert, the 10th overall pick in 2011, to the San Francisco 49ers, and the Texans sent Matt Schaub — their starter for the past seven seasons — to the Oakland Raiders.Previously covered Texans for Houston Chronicle and Jaguars for Florida Times-Union
Northwestern University graduate

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Saints re-sign Meachem to 1-year contract

The New Orleans Saints announced Friday that they have re-signed veteran receiver Robert Meachem to a one-year deal. Terms were not disclosed.

Meachem, 29, adds some security to the Saints’ receiving corps behind returning starters Marques Colston and Kenny Stills.
The Saints became thin at the position when they released veteran Lance Moore earlier this offseason. Now, Meachem and young backups Joe Morgan, Nick Toon and Andy Tanner will compete for roles.
The Saints could also add a receiver in a draft class that is stacked with talent at the position.
Meachem (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) has been a valued backup for the Saints for most of his seven-year career. They use him as a deep threat to stretch the field and also in their heavy run sets because he’s a standout blocker — his most underrated skill set.
Last year, Meachem caught just 16 passes in the regular season but he gained a total of 324 yards. His average of 20.3 yards per catch would have led the league if he had enough catches to qualify. Meachem caught another three passes for 109 yards in the playoffs.
Meachem obviously fits best in that type of role in the Saints’ offense. A former first-round pick out of Tennessee in 2007, he emerged as a big-play specialist for the Saints from 2008 to 2011. But he then flamed out with the San Diego Chargers after signing a lucrative free-agent deal in 2012 to become more of a No. 1 receiver.
He struggled mightily in San Diego and was released after the 2013 preseason. The Saints then quickly snatched him back up a week later.
Meachem has 171 catches for 2,800 yards and 27 touchdowns in his regular-season career.Covered Saints for eight years at New Orleans Times-Picayune
Previously covered LSU football, San Francisco 49ers
Iowa native and University of Iowa graduate

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Source: 49ers likely to pass on Smith option

Updated: April 18, 2014, 12:46 PM ET

ESPN.com news services

The San Francisco 49ers are not expected to pick up the 2015 fifth-year option on linebacker/defensive end Aldon Smith’s contract, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The team has until May 3 to make a decision.

Smith was arrested Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport on charges of a false bomb report.
According to Los Angeles World Airports PIO Sgt. Karla Ortiz, the incident happened as a man, later identified as Smith, was going through Terminal 1 screening and was randomly selected for secondary screening.
Smith then became belligerent and uncooperative with the process and with the TSA agent, making a comment indicating he was in possession of a bomb before proceeding toward the gate area, according to Ortiz.
Los Angeles Airport Police made contact with him at the gate, and he then became uncooperative again and was detained and taken into custody by airport police.
This incident is Smith’s latest run-in with the law.
In November, he pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon, stemming from an incident at a party at his home in 2012. He was scheduled for a discovery hearing in early April.
Smith also missed five games this past season while spending time in an alcohol treatment center. He entered treatment voluntarily three days after he was arrested for drunken driving for the second time since early 2012.
Despite the five-game absence, the 24-year-old Smith finished with 12 sacks and 34 tackles over the course of the Niners’ season, which ended in a NFC Championship Game loss to division rival Seattle.
Information from ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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Quick Fantasy Baseball Streaming Options for 4/19/14

Quick Fantasy Baseball Streaming Options for 4/19/14
Apr 18, 2014

.Roenis Elias, Seattle Mariners @ Miami MarlinsElias is 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. A favorable matchup with the Marlins should keep him on a roll..Season Totals:  2-6, 89.1 IP, 72 Ks, 4.53 ERA (45 earned runs), 1.43 WHIP (94 hits, 34 walks).

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Cowboys | Pick up Tyron Smith’s option

Cowboys | Pick up Tyron Smith’s option
The Dallas Cowboys have exercised the fifth-year option in OT Tyron Smith’s contract.
2014-04-17 20:34:50 | Source: ESPNDallas.com – Todd Archer
Access more Tyron Smith news and rumors by clicking here….

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Saban hosts Peyton in visit of ‘mutual benefit’

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Nick Saban hosted Peyton Manning and Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase last week for two days during a visit the Alabama Crimson Tide coach called mutually beneficial.
The presence of Manning struck a cord in Saban, who also said the quarterback was a good example of how athletes at all levels should approach their crafts.

The details of how the meeting came about weren’t clear, but Saban said Manning and Gase were “making some visits” and wanted to stop by Tuscaloosa.
“A lot of people would say, ‘Wow, the guy is one of the best, if not the best, from a career standpoint and about as good as anyone has been in the history of the league,’ ” Saban said. “After all the experience and knowledge that he has, he’s going out to try and seek more knowledge and understudying of the game of football so he can play better.”
The benefit, however, wasn’t entirely one-sided.
Denver likely runs as efficient a no-huddle offense as any in the NFL. Manning, the orchestrator of the Broncos attack, threw for a league-record 55 touchdowns this past season.
Saban, for his part, has struggled some recently against no-huddle offenses. Alabama gave up a record 628 yards of offense in a 49-42 win over Texas A&M last season, and then lost in the final second to Auburn in a game that featured the Tigers running an uptempo attack that yielded 296 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
“Since they’re a no-huddle team, we had a lot of questions for them, in terms of what gives them problems and what defensive teams do that give them problems,” Saban said. “That was a mutual benefit. I know it was a benefit to us. I hope it was a benefit to them as well.”
Alabama has long hosted athletes and coaching staffs on visits. Earlier this month, Saban hosted a football clinic that included Baylor coach Art Briles, Seattle Seahawks special teams coach Brian Schneider and Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees.
Former coaches Joe Gibbs, Gene Stallings and Sylvester Croom were also a part of the clinic.
“Peyton Manning has been a friend and very well respected for a long time, ever since I coached in the league,” Saban said. “We played them when he was at Indianapolis and I was in Miami. His dad [Archie] has been a really good friend of mine for a long, long, long time.”
Saban added that Gates worked for him at Michigan State and LSU.
“To be honest with you,” Saban said, “[Manning] was just trying to learn so he could be a better player.”Covers Alabama and the SEC.Joined ESPN in 2012.Graduate of Auburn University.

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Source: Watt has 5th-year option exercised

Updated: April 17, 2014, 9:45 PM ET

By
Field Yates | ESPNBoston.com

The Houston Texans have officially exercised the fifth-year option on defensive end J.J. Watt’s contract for the 2015 season, a league source said.

The 2012 Defensive Player of the Year has 36.5 sacks over his first three seasons.
Teams have until May 3 to make a decision on whether to exercise the fifth-year option, which is guaranteed for injury only until the final day of the 2014 league year. It becomes guaranteed at the start of the next league year.
For players drafted in the top 10, the value of the fifth-year option is equal to the transition tag for their position during this offseason.
For players drafted with picks 11-32, the value of the fifth-year option is equal to the average of the 25 highest-paid players at their positions, excluding the top three highest players.
The San Diego Chargers have exercised the fifth-year option on defensive lineman Corey Liuget, according to a source, while the Baltimore Ravens announced they exercised the option on cornerback Jimmy Smith on Thursday.
It is believed the New York Jets have already exercised the option with defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, a source said.
The expectation is that many teams will eventually exercise this option. The Carolina Panthers have strongly suggested they will with quarterback Cam Newton, while the Detroit Lions already have said they will not with defensive tackle Nick Fairley.
One instance that continues to bear monitoring is with San Francisco 49ers’ linebacker Aldon Smith, who was arrested Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport on charges of a false bomb report.

Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston’s Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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Judge says Sharper won’t be released on bail

Updated: April 17, 2014, 8:44 PM ET

Associated Press

PHOENIX — Former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper lost his bid Thursday to be released on bail in a sexual assault case after an Arizona judge found there’s enough evidence to move forward with charges against him in that state.
Sharper’s lawyers had questioned the evidence authorities are using to justify keeping him in jail in California, where he faces separate charges that he drugged and raped two women in October after meeting them at a West Hollywood nightclub.
A California judge had set Sharper’s bail at $1 million but ruled in March that Sharper should remain in jail without bail after the Super Bowl champion was indicted in Arizona on charges that he drugged and sexually assaulted two women in November.
His lawyers had hoped to win a favorable ruling from the Arizona judge to persuade the California judge to set him free on bail.
But after two days of arguments in Phoenix, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Warren Granville found there is sufficient evidence to pursue the Arizona case against Sharper. The Arizona Constitution automatically denies bail to people charged with sexual assault if the proof against them is evident or the presumption of guilt is great.
The move was the latest development in several ongoing sexual assault investigations involving Sharper in Louisiana, California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada.
The indictment filed last month in Arizona alleges that Sharper gave the sedative zolpidem to three women and then had “sexual intercourse or oral sexual contact” with two of them without their consent on Nov. 21 at an apartment in Tempe. The drug is commonly sold under the brand name Ambien.
Sharper has not yet entered a plea in the case, although one of his attorneys has said Sharper will deny those allegations. He has pleaded not guilty in the California case.
Earlier this month, Granville denied a request from Sharper’s attorneys to set bail, ruling that he didn’t have jurisdiction until the former player was in Arizona. But Sharper’s attorneys argued that the former player was entitled to a hearing to determine whether Arizona prosecutors have enough evidence to deny him bail.
On Wednesday, Tempe police detective Kevin Mace said Sharper’s DNA was recovered from the clothing of one of the two sexual assault victims in Arizona, but none of his DNA was found during an exam of the other woman.
The detective also said a police search of the apartment turned up a shot glass with a white residue that turned out to be zolpidem, and California investigators discovered that Sharper had a prescription for the drug.
On Thursday, Sharper’s attorneys said their client did not make the drinks that authorities say he used to drug the women, and that neither woman suffered physical injuries.
Prosecutors pointed out that sexual assault victims sometimes don’t suffer physical injuries, and that both women were assaulted while unconscious after being drugged.Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

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Ravens activate LB McClain from reserve list

The Baltimore Ravens activated Rolando McClain off the reserve-retired list Thursday, two days after his disastrous first workout with the team.
It’s unknown whether this is to allow McClain to participate in the team’s offseason workout program, which begins Monday, or this is the first step toward the Ravens releasing the troubled inside linebacker. Ravens officials aren’t providing any official comment on the move, which was reported on the NFL’s transactions list.
Even if McClain reports to their offseason regimen, it doesn’t mean he is a lock to make the Ravens’ final roster. The Ravens signed McClain to a one-year deal worth the veteran minimum $700,000. It’s a risk-free contract for the Ravens because it doesn’t include any guaranteed money.
It also wouldn’t be surprising if the Ravens cut McClain. Last month, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the team would welcome him back if he proved that he had matured. On Tuesday, McClain was reportedly 22 minutes late for his workout with the Ravens and failed to complete the team’s conditioning test. Later that day, McClain posted on Twitter: “No excuse for my failures. My success no apologies. I that I owe is absolute honesty. Keep it 100, but that’s what they all say.”
The Ravens have been interested in McClain because they want to improve their depth at inside linebacker. Alabama’s C.J. Mosley, the top linebacker prospect in the draft, recently made a pre-draft visit with the Ravens, who hold the No. 17 overall pick.
McClain, 24, is trying to get his career back on track after being released a year ago by the Oakland Raiders. He was suspended for two games by the Raiders in 2012 after arguing with head coach Dennis Allen. He was also arrested three times in an 11-month span.
The No. 8 overall pick in the 2010 draft, McClain retired in May, a month after signing with the Ravens. He said he used the time to get his “priorities straight.”
In 41 games over three seasons with the Raiders, McClain had 246 tackles and 6.5 sacks.University of Maryland graduate
Lives in the Baltimore area with his wife and son

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Conway: Derek Carr would be smart pick for Cardinals at No. 20

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer recently suggested that he would embrace a club decision to bring in a rookie quarterback to compete with him, given his age and waning career. NFL Network’s Curtis Conway believes the time is right for the Cardinals to do just that.
“I think they should,” Conway said on NFL Network’s “Path to the Draft.” “When you look at what Green Bay did a few years ago, with Aaron Rodgers, they drafted Aaron Rodgers at No. 24 in the first round (to sit) behind Brett Favre. We see how that panned out. … I think drafting a guy with that 20th (overall) pick, a guy like Derek Carr if he is available, you can’t pass on him. He can learn behind Carson Palmer. What better coach to have than Bruce Arians as a quarterback’s coach?”
NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah apparently agrees — Jeremiah has Carr going to the Cardinals at No. 20 in his latest mock draft. Palmer is 34 and approaching his 12th NFL season.
“Again, you’re talking about your future,” Conway said. “I think Carson Palmer is right about drafting a guy, letting him sit for a few years, understand your system, and when Carson Palmer decides to hang it up, you have a guy waiting in the wings.”
The Cardinals’ willingness to take a quarterback with the No. 20 pick could be bad timing for the Cleveland Browns. If they pass on a QB with the No. 4 pick, the Browns probably will be eyeing one with their No. 26 pick.
For the Cardinals, however, the timing could be ideal.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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