INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The Latest on the NFL combine (all times EST):
Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst says that the team would like to extend the contract of quarterback Aaron Rodgers ”sooner rather than later.”
Gutekunst was asked about the two-time NFL MVP at the combine. He says that the team realizes it’s ”not going to be inexpensive.”
Rodgers is under contract through the 2019 season following a five-year extension signed in 2013 that boosted his annual average salary to $22 million, making him the highest-paid player in the league back then.
The 34-year old Rodgers has since been passed by other players, including the five-year deal worth a reported $137.5 million that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo agreed to with the San Francisco 49ers.
Gutekunst says that taking care of Rodgers is a high priority, ”and I think that should take care of itself at some point.”
Gutekunst is in his first year as the Packers GM after replacing Ted Thompson.
Browns coach Hue Jackson hopes to avoid starting a rookie quarterback in 2018.
Cleveland owns the No. 1 overall pick, and is expected to use it to select a quarterback from a talented group that includes Southern Cal’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Wyoming’s Josh Allen.
The Browns will use this week’s combine to evaluate that foursome and other top players.
Last season, the Browns started rookie DeShone Kizer, who went 0-15 as the Browns became the second team in NFL history to lose all 16 games.
”I would hope not,” Jackson said when asked if he intends to start a rookie QB. ”There’s going to be other opportunities as we all know. We just go to see how it all fits as we move forward.”
The Browns are expected to be active in free agency and it’s possible they’ll land their starting quarterback there. Jackson refused to comment on Cleveland’s intended targets, but one of them is certain to be Cincinnati quarterback AJ McCarron. The Browns were poised to acquire McCarron in a trade last season before the deal was scrapped because the teams failed to file paperwork with the league on time.
The Chicago Bears plan to part ways with quarterback Mike Glennon.
General manager Ryan Pace said the Bears will release him rather than bring him back for a second season after he lost his starting job to rookie Mitchell Trubisky.
Pace, speaking at the NFL combine, said a mechanism in Glennon’s contract prevents the Bears from letting him go until the start of the league’s calendar year on March 14. The Bears were also releasing linebacker Willie Young.
Glennon left Tampa Bay to sign a three-year contract with the Bears last March and replace Jay Cutler as the starter. He went 1-3 with five interceptions, three lost fumbles and four touchdown passes before Trubisky – the No. 2 overall draft pick – took over.
”We were going to be aggressive at that position,” Pace said. ”We were going to take swings at that position and be aggressive at the most important position, really, in sports. There are multiple factors that go into that. But really, what stands out, as I look back, was Mitch’s acceleration, too.
”So, it was kind of twofold. So I can sit back now and be happy that we have a guy that we feel good about, a young quarterback that we want to build around.”
A triceps injury limited Young to four games last season. He had 26 sacks in four seasons with Chicago, giving him 32 in eight years with the Bears and Detroit Lions.
The NFL’s competition committee is meeting in Indianapolis this week and the group is looking into ways to redefine the troublesome catch rule. The committee also is entertaining the notion of turning the defensive pass interference call into a 15-yard penalty.
It’s currently a spot of foul flag.
At least one head coach is certain the league won’t mess with that rule.
Broncos coach Vance Joseph was among the first coaches to step to the podium at the NFL combine and he says the catch rule certainly needs to be addressed.
But Joseph insists there’s no way the NFL would follow the NCAA’s lead in making defensive pass interference a 15-yard infraction instead of putting the ball at the spot of the foul.
Joseph says pro football fans like seeing points scored and if that rule is changed, there will be ”a lot of defensive backs grabbing and pulling guys, so that’s not going to change.”
Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott says cutting quarterback Tyrod Taylor is not part of the team’s current plans, though he won’t rule out trading the three-year starter.
McDermott says it’s too early to remove any option off the table ”other than cutting him at this point,” in answering a question as to whether the Bills would consider trading Taylor. ”We’re in a good position with some options out there, so that’ll work itself out,” he added at the NFL combine on Wednesday.
Taylor’s future in Buffalo remains in question even though he helped lead the Bills to a 9-7 record and clinch the team’s first playoff berth since 1999. Taylor has a 23-21 record with the Bills and went 8-6 last season while also being benched for one game in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman.
The Bills considered cutting Taylor last March before the quarterback agreed to restructure his contract by reducing it from a five-year to a two-year term.
Taylor enters the final year of his deal, and is due a $6 million bonus in two weeks. General manager Brandon Beane previously said the Bills could comfortably afford carrying Taylor’s contract this year, which will count $18 million against the salary cap.
Jon Gruden is back from the broadcast booth and the highest-paid coach in NFL history.
Unlike his colleague, Matt Patricia didn’t balk at leaving Bill Belichick’s brigade.
Andy Reid is in the midst of another major roster shake-up and his protege, Doug Pederson, is basking in Philadelphia’s first Super Bowl triumph.
All are in Indianapolis at the NFL combine this week hoping to better their chances of winning in 2018.
Top college prospects, including a group of quarterbacks that could produce five first-round draft picks, will spend four days getting poked and prodded, tested and timed.
GMs and coaches will do their best to get to know them off the field as well, either in formal 15-minute interviews or during a mixed zone after their physical assessments.
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