The development follows months of speculation regarding Gronkowski’s desire to continue his career.


The 28-year-old addressed the topic of retirement at his post- Super Bowl press conference, telling reporters, “I’m definitely going to look at my future, for sure. I’m going to sit down the next couple of weeks and see where I’m at.”

The Raiders have been busy upgrading their defensive back seven with top free agents in linebacker Tahir Whitehead and cornerback Rashaan Melvin. Now defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, formerly of Cincinnati, can go after someone to flank Whitehead and Bruce Irvin on the weak side. Strictly playing-style speaking, Smith is a ferocious, relentless pursuit player in the vein of the Bengals’ Vontaze Burfict.

The Dolphins could go in many directions defensively, but the release of Ndamukong Suh makes tackle a monster need and lines up perfectly with Vea’s value. He’s an explosive player who can be a fixture in Miami’s line rotation for years.

Quarterback: Do we really need to go into detail here? Tyrod Taylor will be No. 29 since 1999. Drew Stanton is in, and DeShone Kizer, Cody Kessler and Kevin Hogan are out. There’s an opening for that first-round quarterback.

Secondary: The Browns added Green Bay’s Damarious Randall via trade, but the unit needs depth. Cleveland needs to find a few opportunistic defensive backs after finishing 31st in the NFL with just seven interceptions last season.

Offensive line: Hall of Fame tackle Joe Thomas retired, and that leaves a gap to fill that won’t be easy to replace.

What will be extra challenging for Keenum is working with a less talented supporting cast than the one he had with the Vikings. So the onus is on Elway to find some help for a shaky offensive line that allowed 52 sacks last season (third worst in the league) and an aging receiving corps. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are 30 and 31, respectively, and coming off down seasons due in large part to poor quarterback play.seahawks_088

Richie Incognito ‘done’ with football: ‘The stress is killing me’


Richie Incognito said he’s done with football.

The Bills guard told Buffalo News writer Vic Carucci that he is retiring from the sport because the stress is “killing him.”

And while doing that, feel free to further indulge the incredulity of Mike Brown, Marvin Lewis and the Cincinnati Bengals grilling a viable NFL free agent about acting appropriately and within the bounds of decency on a team that currently is paying Vontaze Burfict, Adam Jones and Joe Mixon.

The 15 years (and counting) of the Brown-Lewis management duo has not exactly exercised the stringent standards of conduct on the rest of the roster it appears to be imposing on a man who silently, publicly protested against racial injustice.

If the Bengals are drawing the line on Reid, then that line extends through all 32 teams, because this is a team that not only never draws lines, it’s not even clear they own a pen.

The Giants have narrowed their top choices for this month’s NFL Draft.

New York holds the No. 2 overall pick and intends to use the selection on USC quarterback Sam Darnold if he isn’t taken by the Browns with the No. 1 overall pick.

Wide receiver: Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell are all coming off injury-marred seasons. The shot on Matthews in the slot helps restore some depth with Amendola and Cooks gone, but the Patriots should look to add a pass-catcher who can make big plays at either wideout or tight end.

The Patriots have gone from having no first-rounders in the previous two drafts to having a pair of them for the first time since 2012, when they landed Hightower and defensive end Chandler Jones. As much as the Pats need help at those positions again, the Cooks deal puts them more in the wheelhouse of early values for the offense.seahawks_122

NFL will reportedly no longer use color rush uniforms on Thursday Night Football


The NFL’s color rush uniforms will no longer cause a headache for players and fans.

According to Bill Wanger, executive vice president of programming, research and content strategy for Fox Sports, the color rush uniforms are coming to an end on “Thursday Night Football.”

Sam missed most of the 2016 season with a foot injury, but he bounced back last year with 127 tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss. The 6-2, 240-pound linebacker would be a nice late-round addition.

The Packers haven’t entered a draft the year after missing a postseason since 2008, the aftermath of Rodgers’ first season as starter. That draft landed Pro Bowlers in Jordy Nelson and Josh Sitton, along with tight end Jermichael Finley. Those pieces helped Rodgers’ career take off. Now, the Packers need to find some new pieces to give Rodgers a few more Super Bowl shots.

Foster delivered on the field, ranking second on the team with 72 tackles in 10 games as a rookie and looking like a key part of San Francisco’s defensive future.

Foster then was charged in January in Alabama with second-degree marijuana possession before the incident in February that led to the most recent charges.

The NFL has said it is looking into possible discipline for Foster for both infractions.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No. 19: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama or D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland or Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

The Cowboys trust Dak Prescott to both push the ball downfield and show touch on shorter, safer throws. But the QB needs some of that burden eased with either a young wideout who can run well after the catch or a big-bodied No. 1 who can replace Bryant.seahawks_023

ESPN’s McShay: Hernandez, Nick Chubb, Holmes would earn Lions ‘A’


How can the Lions ace the NFL Draft? ESPN’s Todd McShay offers a way for the Lions to get off to a strong start in his three-round mock draft posted Tuesday (pay site).

The ESPN draft analyst cautions this isn’t a traditional mock draft, based on league rumblings, but rather who he’d pick for each team in order to merit an “A” for the first three rounds of the April 26-28 draft.

For the Lions, it starts with massive UTEP guard Will Hernandez at No. 20, followed by Georgia running back Nick Chubb in Round 2 (No. 51), and Ohio State defensive end Jalyn Holmes in the third round (No. 82).

McShay slots Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst with the Atlanta Falcons at No. 26, writing “assuming his medical checks out, Hurst would be a nice fit in Atlanta to help fill some snaps the Falcons lost with Dontari Poe’s departure.”

It’s unclear if Wentz will be available to play in the preseason, though his potential presence in a game against the Patriots would certainly add more intrigue to a marquee matchup between arguably the two best teams in the NFL.

After losing to the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game, the Minnesota Vikings will get their first look at quarterback Kirk Cousins in a Week 1 road matchup against the Denver Broncos, who signed Case Keenum away from Minnesota.

Cousins joined the reigning NFC North champions after signing a historic fully guaranteed $84 million deal in March.

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