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Chad Kelly Due In Court On Monday

Former Broncos quarterback Chad Kelly is due in court on Monday to be arraigned on a felony charge of first-degree trespassing, the Denver Post’s Sam Tabachnik writes. 

The charge stems from an Oct. 23 incident when the backup signal-caller allegedly walked into a family’s house after departing Von Miller‘s Halloween party. According to the arrest affidavit, Kelly sat down next to a woman on her couch and mumbled incoherently. He was then attacked by the man who lived there with an aluminum tube from a vacuum cleaner, forcing the quarterback out of the house. He was later arrested outside the Gothic Theatre, the site of the party. The Broncos later released him.

A highly touted quarterback in college, Kelly saw his draft stock slip for maturity concerns. Obviously, the aforementioned incident hasn’t done much to remove those concerns. Before the incident, however, Kelly was impressing Broncos brass with his play in the preseason, completing 66.7 percent of his passes for 466 yards and three touchdowns in four games, including one start.

He recently announced his attempt at a comeback, tweeting a clip of him throwing to a receiver.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Makes Changes To Rooney Rule

On Wednesday, league owners agreed to make adjustments to the Rooney Rule. The rule, which stipulates that NFL teams must interview at least one minority candidate before hiring a new head coach or GM, will now require clubs to interview one minority candidate who is not employed by the team or on the league’s list of suggested minority candidates.

[RELATED: Fritz Pollard Alliance Recommends HC Candidates For 2019]

Ostensibly, the rule is being changed in order to force teams to consider minority candidates in good faith, rather than interviewing a minority coach or executive in order to fulfill an obligation. There’s no guarantee that the adjustment will accomplish that, however – teams are still liable to lock in on a candidate before the interview process starts.

Although the NFL won’t come right out and say it, the rule change is likely in response to the Raiders’ hiring of Jon Gruden in the last coaching cycle. The Raiders technically interviewed two minority candidates for the job in Oakland tight ends coach Bobby Johnson and USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin, but all indications are that Gruden reached verbal agreement with owner Mark Davis before those interviews took place.

 

2019 Salary Cap Expected To Fall Between $187-$191MM

The steady rise of the NFL salary cap looks like it will continue, and a possible record single-year expansion may occur.

The NFL informed teams Tuesday the 2019 cap is expected to fall between $187-$191MM, per spokesman Brian McCarthy (on Twitter). This would mark the sixth straight year the cap has risen more than $10MM. Teams’ salary ceilings are $177.2MM this year, and a spike to $191MM would represent one of the greatest bumps in NFL cap history.

Next season will mark the penultimate slate of the 2011 CBA, and while another lockout could well be coming in 2021, 2010s’ final season will bring more of the same, financially speaking. The cap is set for a 40 percent spike from 2013, when it resided at $133MM.

Here’s what the league’s salary cap has looked like over the last few years:

  • 2013: $123MM
  • 2014: $133MM
  • 2015: $143.28MM
  • 2016: $155.27MM
  • 2017: $167MM
  • 2018: $177.2MM

The cap’s growth can be seen in the spike in quarterback salaries, with Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan becoming the league’s first $30MM-AAV players in 2018. Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack also broke through what had been a steady ceiling for defenders, each elite edge rusher procuring at least a $23MM-per-year accord. Tuesday’s news will benefit the next crop of free agents and impact extension candidates.

Extra Points: Jaguars, Coughlin, Ravens, Giants, Lauletta, Hunt

It’s been a rough year for the Jaguars. After making the AFC Championship game last year, they were supposed to be contenders again in 2018 but nothing has gone according to plan. They were just 3-8 entering today, and benched Blake Bortles for Cody Kessler while firing their offensive coordinator. While they squeaked out a 6-0 victory over the Colts, major changes are still coming this offseason, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

La Canfora says that “sweeping changes are inevitable, which may include coaching and front-office moves”, and cites “multiple NFL salary cap executives” who say the team will need to “gut its roster” because of their cap situation. Jacksonville has spent big on free agents the past couple of years to build the team, but La Canfora writes their win-now window is “now effectively closed”, and they’ll have to start dumping the high-priced veterans soon. La Canfora seems to think head coach Doug Marrone‘s job is in danger, and notes that team president Tom Coughlin could “consider a return to the sidelines” to lead the team. Whatever happens, the Jaguars will be one of the most interesting teams to monitor this offseason.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Ravens coach John Harbaugh may have saved his own job with the team’s recent three game winning streak, but he could be losing one of his assistants soon. Baltimore’s defensive line coach Joe Cullen interviewed for the head coaching job at UMass, and is considered a “top candidate” for the position, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Cullen played at UMass in the 80’s, and was an assistant coach there in the early 90’s. He’s coordinated at Indiana and Richmond, but has always been a defensive line coach at the NFL level.
  • Although Eli Manning has played a lot better recently and the Giants have now won three of four games, the team still plans to get rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta in a game at some point, according to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY (Twitter link). Vacchiano notes that it may only come in the second half of a blowout game and not a start, but that the team wants to get a look at him either way.
  • It’s been speculated that a team might claim Kareem Hunt off waivers in order to get him on his cheap rookie contract that has him locked up through 2020, but “multiple executives” told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com that Hunt is likely to go unclaimed on waivers. While one GM told Schefter there’s “no chance” he gets claimed, it still wouldn’t be a shock if he does. While he’s likely facing a lengthy suspension, Reuben Foster is also facing a lengthy suspension and got claimed even though he’s making significantly more money than Hunt.

 

Extra Points: Patriots, Jaguars, Packers, Browns

In 2017, Browns defensive coordinator and now interim head coach Gregg Williams made a strong push for the team to take Texas A&M pass rusher Myles Garrett with the No. 1 overall pick rather than take a quarterback.

On Friday, he reiterated that stance, saying he would still take the standout defensive end over quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes and Mitch Trubisky, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes.

“Yes, I would,’’ said Williams. “I really like (Garrett). They had me evaluate the quarterbacks, too, and they had me evaluate a lot of the top players on the other side of the ball. You do good things like that in successful organizations. Get the opinion of a defensive guy on an offensive guy. Get the opinion of an offensive guy on a defensive guy. You are trying to find all of the little itty bitty things before you make the final decision, I think those are important.”

Regardless of what he would or wouldn’t do, it looks like the situation is going to work out well for the Browns. Instead of taking a quarterback a year ago, the team tabbed Baker Mayfield with the top spot and have recorded the same amount of wins this season as the previous three combined (four).

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Though the Packers need to win out and get plenty of help to get to the playoffs, team CEO Mark Murphy wrote in a week Q&A on Packers.com that he is not ready to give up on the season. “Now, I realize that we are 4-6-1 (and as Bill Parcells famously said, “You are what your record says you are”) and that we haven’t played well. However, we still have almost a third of the season left to play. I know that the odds of making the playoffs are slim (I’ve seen odds range from 3 to 15 percent), but we still have a lot to play for.” Like the odds say, there isn’t much left on the line unless the team can get hot and get some help.
  • Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone‘s firing of offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett at this point of the season seems like a diversionary tactic to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio. “It feels like an effort by Marrone to alter the conversation that inevitably will happen when owner Shad Khan, who had a taste of life in the NFL’s penthouse in 2017 and has taken the Super Fun Happy Slide straight back to the outhouse, starts asking tough questions after Week 17.” 
  • The Patriots need to re-sign defensive end Trey Flowers, NESN’s Doug Kyed writes in a mailbag. “They either need to bring back Flowers, take a player high in the 2018 NFL Draft, sign a free agent (pass rushers are not cheap) or trade for a veteran edge defender. Isn’t the simplest option just to bring back Flowers?” 

Bucs’ Winston, Uber Driver Reach Settlement

Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has reached a settlement with an Uber driver who accused him of groping her in 2016, the Tampa Bay Times’ Matt Baker writes.

A sexual battery lawsuit was filed against Winston after the woman alleged the fourth-year quarterback grabbed her crotch in the drive-thru of a Mexican restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz. She made the incident known last fall, leading to an NFL investigation which deemed her claim as “consistent and credible.” The incident led to a three-game suspension in 2018 for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy. The woman, identified as Kate P., filed the civil suit in September seeking $75,000 in damages.

Though he denied the allegations and disagreed with the suspension, Winston released a statement in June on the incident:

“Although I am disappointed in the NFL’s decision, I understand the NFL’s process, and I embrace this as an opportunity to take advantage of the resources available to help me achieve the goals that I have for myself.”

Since returning from the suspension, Winston reassumed his role as the Buccaneers’ starting quarterback and has thrown for 1,692 yards and 10 touchdowns in six games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

A.J. Green Expected Back For Week 12

Though the Bengals fell to the Ravens on Sunday, 24-21, the team did get one bit of good news. Seven-time Pro Bowl wideout A.J. Green is expected to be ready for the team’s upcoming matchup against the Browns, ESPN’s Josina Anderson hears (Twitter link). 

Green has been sidelined since he suffered a toe injury on the last series vs. Tampa Bay in Week 8. With the injury coming just before Cincinnati’s bye week, the star receiver has only missed two games, defeats to New Orleans and Baltimore. The Bengals sputtered in both affairs, amassing just 174 yards through the air vs. the Saints, and following it up with 211 vs. the Ravens. Before he went down, Green was leading the Bengals in receiving yards (687) and touchdowns (six).

There was a remote possibility he could’ve suited up in today’s loss, but was ruled out after testing out his injured toe in warmups. With the team at 5-5 heading into Week 12, the Bengals are in a must-win game vs. the division-rival Browns to keep pace in the hunt for a wild-card berth. They are currently tied for the final spot with the Ravens, Titans, Colts and Dolphins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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NFL Workout Updates: 11/12/18

Here are today’s tryouts:

Buffalo Bills:

Carolina Panthers:

Cleveland Browns:

  • T Chris Durant; DB John Franklin III, CB Josh Thornton

Green Bay Packers:

Houston Texans:

Indianapolis Colts:

  • G David Bright; LB Kennan Gilchrist; S Terrell Williams

New York Jets: