Most of the news-worthy nuggets dropped at the Combine on Tuesday when coaches and GMs held their annual press conferences. Some stuff still spilled into Wednesday, but Tuesday was the real onslaught. The draft prospects will start working out Thursday and into the weekend.
Colts the Favorite for Rivers
Since the Chargers announced roughly two weeks ago that Philip Rivers won’t return to the team as a free agent, he’s been hotly linked to the Bucs and now Colts. Word out of the Combine, via draft insider Tony Pauline, is that many expect Rivers to sign with Indianapolis, linking back up with old friends coach Frank Reich and OC Nick Sirianni. Reich and Sirianni were both in San Diego with Rivers earlier in his career. It would be a seamless transition and allow the Colts to focus on other assets in the draft process. Rivers doesn’t really make much sense at all for Tampa Bay, quite honestly. Coach Bruce Arians and OC Byron Leftwich prefer a downfield, attacking passing offense that pushes the ball over the top. Rivers’ arm is basically shot at this point in his career, making him more of a fit as a game manager or someone who lives in the short-to-intermediate levels of the field while taking occasional shots. The Colts were knocking down the door of a Super Bowl with Andrew Luck under center prior to his abrupt retirement. Perhaps getting Rivers in the twilight of his career can reopen that window while simultaneously giving Rivers the same chance at a title before eventually hanging ‘em up.
Cowboys Want to Keep Everyone
New Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy falls in line with everyone else in the organization by believing impending free agent Dak Prescott is “definitely” a franchise quarterback. Dallas and Prescott’s agent finally met Wednesday to continue contract talks. The Cowboys have previously stated they don’t plan to sign either Prescott or Amari Cooper before CBA talks are settled. With so many players coming out against the latest proposal, it’s anyone’s guess as to when the league and players will come to an agreement. For now, McCarthy continues to say he wants all of Prescott, Cooper, and fellow free agent Randall Cobb back with the team. Byron Jones figures to be the odd man out among Dallas’ big-ticket free agents. Cobb won’t cost much at all and figures to be on the back burner. The Cowboys would ideally sign one of Cooper or Prescott to a multi-year deal and buy time on the other player via the franchise tag.
Mayfield Aiming to Get Back in Shape
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports Baker Mayfield wants to get slimmer and quicker next season after bulking up and losing some of his mobility in 2019. It’s common offseason “news” to read about players wanting to “get in better shape,” but it’s at least a good thing to see Mayfield wanting to kick it into gear and change something after his horrendous Year 2. In other Browns news, the team is reportedly eyeing veterans Case Keenum and Chase Daniel to be Mayfield’s No. 2 after Cleveland employed Drew Stanton and Garrett Gilbert last year. Stanton is set to be a free agent, while Gilbert remains a developmental No. 3 out of the AAF.
Quick Slants: Bills GM Brandon Beane said the team has spoken with free agent CB Josh Norman. The 32-year-old is free to sign whenever and wherever, but he’s only been linked to Buffalo since his release from the Redskins 13 days ago. … Giants released ILB Alec Ogletree and OLB Kareem Martin, clearing over $13 million in cap space. … 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan admitted the team “could be” open to trading Marquise Goodwin. Loaded with deep speed, Goodwin was essentially a non-factor for the NFC champs last season. He seems more focused on the upcoming summer Olympics as a track star than football at the moment. … The Panthers exercised reserve OG Chris Reed’s option for 2020. He’ll compete for a depth job. … The Bengals are fully expected to release LT Cordy Glenn this offseason, clearing $9.5 million.