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Taulia Tagovailoa knows he’s not viewed as the elite quarterback prospect that his older brother was, and that’s why he asked the NCAA to grant him permission to play another year of college football. But when the NCAA denied him eligibility for 2024, Tagovailoa entered the draft, and he’s hoping NFL teams will think he’s worth taking a chance on.

Tagovailoa, the younger brother of Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, wanted the NCAA to rule that his 2019 season, in which he played sparingly in five games at Alabama, counted as a redshirt year. He transferred to Maryland to continue his college career, and the coaches at both Alabama and Maryland wrote to the NCAA endorsing the idea that Tagovailoa’s minimal playing time in 2019 shouldn’t have counted as a full year of eligibility. But the NCAA disagreed, told him his college career was over, and so Tagovailoa is now focused on the NFL.

“Going into college you always have goals, and I just wanted more,” he told ESPN. “I felt like I left a lot of plays out on the field, and with another year, I felt it was going to be another opportunity to show what I can do and maybe improve on the things I didn’t do well the past couple of years. That’s all I was trying to do with getting another year.”

Now Tagovailoa hopes an NFL team will take a chance on him in the draft.

“When the NCAA didn’t accept it, I felt like it was God’s plan for me to -- I mean, I only had one decision,” Taulia said, “to go to the NFL draft.”

Tagovailoa’s situation is similar to the situation that Tommy DeVito was in last year: DeVito started his college career at Syracuse, then transferred to Illinois, and asked the NCAA for another season of eligibility a year ago. When the NCAA said no, he entered the NFL draft and wasn’t selected, but he signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent and started six games last season as a rookie. Even if Tagovailoa isn’t drafted, he may find himself playing in the NFL this year.

Are the Colts looking to add some speed in this month’s draft?

It’s certainly a possibility, based on their latest reported pre-draft visit.

Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, former Texans receiver Xavier Worthy is meeting with Indianapolis on Friday.

Worthy set a new scouting combine record with a 4.21 40-yard dash. He was a two-time, first-team All-Big 12 selection in his three seasons with the Longhorns, catching 75 passes for 1,014 yards with five touchdowns in 2023. In all, he had 197 receptions for 2,755 yards with 26 TDs in his three years. Plus, he averaged 14.1 yards per punt return on 40 attempts in his collegiate career.

The Cardinals and Bears have also had reported pre-draft visits with Worthy.

Indianapolis has the No. 15 overall pick in the first round.

Chiefs receiver Rashee Rice faces eight felony charges arising from last month’s street-racing incident in Dallas. On Monday, the Chiefs launch their offseason program.

Will Rice be there?

That depends on whether the NFL and/or the Chiefs will take action to keep Rice from being there. The league could place him on paid leave. The league could, in theory, suspend him without pay. The Chiefs could ask him not to show up, and he could agree to stay away.

The Chiefs did that five years ago, when former Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill agreed to leave offseason workouts while an investigation occurred regarding his son’s broken arm. While no one was prosecuted for that crime (investigators couldn’t prove who broke the child’s arm), the Chiefs and Hill decided it would be best for him to stay away while the process played out.

It would be best for Rice to stay away from this year’s offseason workouts. It would be even better for the league to make a clear statement now regarding its lack of tolerance for players who endanger others in the way Rice did.

While he did nothing intentional or malicious, the conduct displays a degree of recklessness bordering on depraved. The NFL needs every player to realize that getting behind the wheel of a car and driving at a high rate of speed among other cars is not acceptable.

Often, the league avoids putting a player on paid leave in order to not create another story on the subject. In this case, there’s value in creating another story.

Already, the non-sports media is covering the Rice case. If the league wants to issue a loud and clear warning to players about not driving recklessly, this is the way to do it.

If the league doesn’t, the Chiefs should. After the charges were filed against Rice, they had no comment. In the aftermath of the incident, Chiefs president Mark Donovan said “it doesn’t appear that anyone was hurt and we should be grateful for that.” His information was faulty; people were injured.

What will the Chiefs do now? It’s inevitable that questions will be asked next week, and it’s likely that non-sports reporters will be present to ask them. Will the NFL and/or the Chiefs set the stage for those press conferences by ensuring that Rice won’t be practicing or playing until the case is resolved?

We’ll quite possibly find out later today. Although Rice has many rights available to him, the video evidence doesn’t lie. A race was happening. It caused a crash. And Rice, per his lawyer, has admitted to driving one of the two cars.

Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins have not reached agreement on a contract extension, but that isn’t going to impact the quarterback’s decision to participate in the voluntary portion of the team’s offseason work.

Tagovailoa said from Hawaii last weekend that contract talks have been good without delving into much detail about where things stand. He was back in South Florida on Thursday and didn’t shed any more light on the nature of his talks with the team, but he did confirm that the lack of a deal won’t stop him from joining the team for workouts when they get underway next week.

“Just letting my agent deal with that and talk to the team about that,” Tagovailoa said, via Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post. “For me, my focus is when OTAs come, go to OTAs, show up and be the best teammate I can be.”

Tagovailoa will make $23.171 million this season. The question of how much he’ll make in 2025 continues to hang over the Dolphins as they move closer to the start of the season.

The Bengals start their offseason program on Monday and quarterback Joe Burrow will be leading an offense that looks a bit different than the one he commanded before his season-ending wrist injury last year.

Running back Joe Mixon is in Houston, right tackle Jonah Williams signed with the Cardinals, wide receiver Tyler Boyd remains unsigned as a free agent and wide receiver Tee Higgins won’t be joining the team after requesting a trade in response to getting a franchise tag. New faces like tight end Mike Gesicki, running back Zach Moss, and tackle Trent Brown will be part of the mix and Burrow said this week that he believes they are “the right kind of guys” to help the Bengals push their way back into the playoffs.

“We know we have the right people in place to reach our goals,” Burrow said, via the team’s website. “It’s just about putting all those pieces together and finding our roles to optimize what we can do.”

The roster shuffling is significant, but Burrow’s health looms much larger when it comes to the Bengals’ hopes for the coming season. He said he’s in “a great spot” when it comes to his physical condition and that’s great news for Cincinnati.

The NFL will have 13 incoming players at the draft. Not many more than that were invited.

The league wanted to keep it to no more than 15. The goal, per a source with knowledge of the situation, was to ensure that no one lingers too long in the green room in Detroit.

Toward that end, neither quarterback Bo Nix nor quarterback Michael Penix, Jr. was invited. The league didn’t have either, we’re told, on the projected list of the top 15 to 20 picks.

Both could still go in the top 15, given the number of teams looking for quarterbacks. As noted earlier, the betting markets have Penix as the favorite to go to the Raiders at No. 13.

It can’t be easy to get clear and reliable information about who will be picked and when from teams that will be inclined to keep their plans top secret. If the goal is to ensure that the invitees have limited stays in the green room, the challenge is to ensure that the invitations go to those players whom the league regard as can’t-miss first-round picks.

The league views quarterbacks Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, and J.J. McCarthy (who didn’t respond to his invitation and had it basically rescinded) as clear and definite early picks. The league doesn’t have that same opinion as to Nix and Penix.

In 13 days, we’ll all find out how good the league’s intel on this was.

A report this week indicated that there is optimism about the state of contract talks between the Buccaneers and safety Antoine Winfield and Thursday brought confimation of that feeling from one of the key figures in those negotiations.

Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht held a press conference that was mostly focused on draft matters, but he also fielded a question about where things stand with Winfield, who received a franchise tag, and left tackle Tristan Wirfs, who is heading into the final year of his rookie contract. Licht said things were positive on both fronts while noting that they’ve been able to re-sign several other players already this offseason.

“We’ve had really good discussions there,” Licht said, via a transcript from the team. “Once again, it’s like the same thing when we were at the combine talking about Baker [Mayfield] and Mike [Evans] and Lavonte [David]. We really want them here, we want them here long term, I think they want to be here long term. We’ve had a good track record with getting things done. I feel pretty good about things getting done.”

The Bucs have kept most of the band together after winning the NFC South last season and getting deals done with Winfield and Wirfs would set the stage for an extended run with the foundation of the roster that made that happen.

Las Vegas is the most likely NFL destination for Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., if the betting odds are to be believed.

The Raiders are the +380 favorites to draft Penix, ahead of the Vikings and Broncos each at +470, the Giants at +650, the Seahawks at +1000 and Saints at +1100, according to FanDuel.

Four quarterbacks — USC’s Caleb Williams, LSU’s Jayden Daniels, North Carolina’s Drake Maye and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy — are viewed as sure-thing high picks. Penix and Oregon’s Bo Nix are the two quarterbacks whose status is harder to guess.

The Raiders have Aidan O’Connell as the incumbent starter and signed Gardner Minshew in free agency, and if they don’t draft a quarterback those two will compete to be the Raiders’ starter. But if Penix is there at No. 13 when the Raiders pick, then he could be the new franchise quarterback that new head coach Antonio Pierce, new General Manager Tom Telesco and owner Mark Davis would surely love to draft.

The federal affidavit filed on Thursday regarding $16 million in alleged theft by Ippei Mizuhara, Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter, includes plenty of information.

Several paragraphs include allegations that suggest one of the bookmakers was dropping not-so-subtle hints of potential threats against Mizuhara and Ohtani due to non-payment.

From page 14 of the document: “On or about November 17, 2023, BOOKMAKER 1 messaged MIZUHARA stating, ‘Hey Ippie, it’s 2 o’clock on Friday. I don’t know why you’re not returning my calls. I’m here in Newport Beach and I see [Victim A] walking his dog. I’m just gonna go up and talk to him and ask how I can get in touch with you since you’re not responding? Please call me back immediately.’”

Victim A is Ohtani. The bookmaker was watching Ohtani with his dog. The bookmaker was going to confront Ohtani.

While there’s no indication that the bookmaker planned to do anything to Ohtani, the situation could have escalated — especially if the bookie approached him with any type of attitude.

Also from page 14: “On or about December 15, 2023, BOOKMAKER 1 messaged MIZUHARA stating ‘I know ur busy but u Need to show some respect. I put my neck out here. Call me by Tonight. I don’t care what time or how late it is.’”

From page 15: “On or about January 6, 2024, BOOKMAKER 1 messaged MIZUHARA stating ‘you’re putting me in a position where this is going to get out of control. If I don’t hear from you by the end of the day today it’s gonna [sic] be out of my hands.’ MIZUHARA responded the same day, stating ‘My bad man. . . . I just got back from Japan two days ago and I’m leaving tomorrow again . . . I’ll be back in mid January. To be honest with you, I’m really struggling right now and I need some time before I start to make payments.’”

That last one is the most troubling. This is going to get out of control? It’s gonna be out of my hands?

Maybe it’s good for Mizuhara that everything hit the fan with the feds. It looks like it was hitting the fan with folks whose punishments definitely don’t involve incarceration.

Chiefs receiver Rashee Rice, who faces eight felony charges in the aftermath of a street race that sparked a six-car accident, has surrendered to authorities in Dallas.

Via WFAA, he has been booked and released on $40,000 bond.

Rice has not yet been charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries. That could still happen, resulting in more felony charges.

Neither the Chiefs nor the NFL have taken action against Rice. As explained on Thursday’s PFT Live, perhaps one or both should.

The facts are clear. The cars — both of which were registered to Rice — were racing. They endangered the lives of others.

SMU has already suspended Theodore Knox, the driver of the car. The NFL and the Chiefs look bad, frankly, in comparison.

Why not suspend Rice indefinitely pending resolution of the charges? Whether he’s on paid leave or unpaid leave, it’s a serious situation that compels the league to send a message to other players who might be tempted to get behind the wheel of a car and do things that create risk of serious injury both for himself and for others.