Hasson Reddick

NFL Notes: Cardinals sign 1st-round pick, Temple product Haason Reddick

NFL Notes: Cardinals sign 1st-round pick, Temple product Haason Reddick

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals have signed first-round draft pick Haason Reddick to a four-year contract.

The signing of the linebacker out of Temple leaves all of the Cardinals draft picks under contract.

Reddick has seen considerable time with the team's first unit in the absence of Deone Bucannon, who is recovering from ankle surgery.

Reddick was the 13th overall pick in the draft (see full story).

Titans: Murray wearing cast after 'procedure' on ring finger
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- DeMarco Murray was wearing a cast and wrap on his right hand at the Tennessee Titans' practice Thursday, but the running back and coach Mike Mularkey say the injury isn't serious.

Murray had a minor surgical procedure on his right ring finger last week to correct and issue that been bothering him since the second week of the 2016 season.

"It's nothing serious. Definitely, if there was a game, I could play," Murray said. "We just wanted to get a little jump on it and let it heal."

Murray is due to have the cast removed next week and he has asked Mularkey to allow him to participate in next week's mandatory minicamp -- a request the coach is considering.

"DeMarco had a little hand procedure," Mularkey said. "He should be ready to go. He wants to work next week. I'll see. He should be out of the cast Monday. If not, he'll be back for camp obviously, be ready for training camp."

While the timing of the procedure seems a bit odd, Mularkey said it was simply when the doctors could work the surgery in on Murray (see full story).

Saints: Physician advises Fairley to give up football
METAIRIE, La. -- Saints coach Sean Payton says defensive tackle Nick Fairley is seeing multiple heart specialists after one physician advised Fairley to stop playing football.

Payton says he hopes Fairley can return to the Saints, but not unless the 29-year-old defensive lineman has "full confidence" that continuing to play won't worsen a heart condition he's had throughout his six-year NFL career.

Fairley, a former Auburn star and 2011 first-round draft choice by Detroit, was one of New Orleans' top defensive performers last season. He was credited with 6 1/2 sacks, nine tackles for losses and 22 quarterback hits in 2016.

This offseason, Fairley signed a four-year extension worth up to $28 million, but has not participated in any of the club's voluntary offseason work (see full story).

Bills: WR Walt Powell suspended 4 games
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The NFL has suspended Buffalo Bills backup receiver Walt Powell for the first four games of the season for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances.

Without revealing the substance, Powell issued a statement through the team saying he mistakenly used a product that led to the positive test. He apologized for what happened and says he accepts the league's decision.

Powell is entering his fourth NFL season and third with Buffalo. He had 14 catches for 142 yards in nine games before sustaining a season-ending injury to his left ankle in late November.

Buffalo is already thin at receiver behind starter Sammy Watkins after losing Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin in free agency in March.

Powell is not eligible to return until Oct. 2.

10 prospects with something to prove at 2017 NFL Scouting Combine

10 prospects with something to prove at 2017 NFL Scouting Combine

INDIANAPOLIS -- There are exactly 330 players invited to the NFL combine this year and a lot will ride on their performances. 

In addition to the on-field tests, teams will spend hours and hours interviewing and meeting with the prospects from various schools across the country. 

There's plenty on the line this week. Here are 10 players with something to prove: 

WR Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington
Kupp is the wideout who recently worked out with Carson Wentz. The two share agents, which is why Kupp was spotted wearing one of Wentz's AO1 shirts at the Senior Bowl weigh-ins last month. Kupp, at that point, hadn't yet met Wentz, but he was looking forward to meeting him. Kupp had a great college career, but his athleticism can be questioned. Last month, he said he was hoping to run a 4.4 in the 40 at the combine. We'll see if he can do it. 

WR Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky
Taylor was probably the biggest standout during Senior Bowl week, but he's from a small school and might not be very well known yet. A favorite of NBC Sports' Josh Norris, Taylor has a chance to impress this week. Under 6-foot and under 200 pounds, Taylor will still probably test very well this week. 

WR/RB Curtis Samuel, Ohio State
Like a few guys on this list, Samuel is stuck between positions. He'll work out with receivers this week, but he's more of a running back/receiver hybrid. (Josh Huff ring any bells?) But if a player has two positions, do they really have one? That's the problem Samuel might face. He'll get a chance to show his stuff and hopefully he'll end up on a team that can utilize his talents. We'll just call him an offensive weapon for now. 

CB Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado
An injury kept Awuzie out of the Senior Bowl. That was a shame because a lot of people wanted to see him. It's a super crowded field at the corner position this year, but Awuzie could end up being great value around the third round if he lasts that long. This will be his chance to show that he belongs with the top CBs on the board. 

CB Teez Tabor, Florida
Some think Tabor is the top cornerback in the draft, while others aren't so sure he's the top cornerback coming out of Florida. So, yeah, Tabor has plenty to prove. He’s an intriguing guy with the Eagles in mind because of his aggressive nature, but NFL.com's Lance Zierlein brings up a possibility that Tabor "fears deep speed." We'll need to pay attention to his 40. 

DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, Villanova
So far, so good for the 6-foot-7, 280-pound specimen, whom Eagles personnel head Joe Douglas called "as body beautiful as it gets." There's no question Kpassagnon is a physical freak, and he looked good against high-quality competition in the Senior Bowl. But he's still pretty raw and a good showing this week could ease the fears of some front office executives. 

LB Haason Reddick, Temple 
The Temple defensive player is switching positions but has looked fine in the process. In fact, many have him ranked as the second-best linebacker in the draft, after Alabama's Reuben Foster. But any time a player switches positions, teams are going to want to see as much on-field work as possible. This week could help Reddick become a first-round pick. 

OL Dion Dawkins, Temple
Dawkins played tackle in college but was a guard last month at the Senior Bowl and likely projects there as a pro. He was open to the switch, saying he'll play wherever teams want him to. Because of the switch from tackle to guard, there's a good chance he'll test very well this week. As an athletic interior lineman, he could help his status a lot. 

S Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
The Michigan standout might be the most interesting player in Indy because he was so good in college, but no one really knows how to project him to the NFL. It's clear he's a first-round talent, but is he a linebacker? A safety? He's somewhat of a tweener, but if he has a good week, he should still be a first-round pick. Like Samuel above, it's all about making sure he goes to the right team.

RB Jamaal Williams, BYU
While we'll be watching several 40 times closely, perhaps this is the one we should all care about the most. At 6-0/211, Williams has the size to be a workhorse back, but does he have the speed to separate from NFL players? We'll find out. 

Senior Bowl: Dawkins, Reddick confident Temple football in good hands

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Senior Bowl: Dawkins, Reddick confident Temple football in good hands

MOBILE, Ala. – Dion Dawkins and Haason Reddick arrived at this year’s Senior Bowl without one big worry on their minds. Instead, they’re relieved. 

Both are convinced the Temple football program is in good hands. 

In 2013, during Dawkins’ freshman season and Reddick’s redshirt freshman season, the Owls weren’t very good, and that’s putting it politely. They went 2-10 and, to the outside, seemed destined to stay that way. But by the time they both completed their senior seasons in 2016, the Owls had pulled off their second straight 10-4 season. Dawkins and Reddick helped rebuild the program. 

“It’s truly a blessing seeing where Temple has come from,” Dawkins said. “Like Temple, just like what you said. I’ll basically say it. It went from s--- to something great. I’m just happy to be a part of it and just be somebody that for years to come, people know that Dion Dawkins, Haason Reddick came out of there and turned this program around.”

The program has clearly turned around, but the man leading the charge left in December, when head coach Matt Rhule accepted the head coaching position at Baylor. The Owls then hired Florida defensive coordinator Geoff Collins to fill the void. 

As Dawkins and Reddick prepare to be the fourth and fifth Owls to be drafted in the last two years, they leave North Philadelphia with the confidence that Collins is the right man to lead the program into the future. Both have met the new head coach and on Tuesday at the Senior Bowl granted their seal of approval. 

“I talked to Geoff, man,” Reddick said. “He extended himself to all the seniors. He gave us his number, followed us on social media, he interacts with us on social media, said if we ever needed anything to give him a call. He said anytime we’re around the area and we come back home, he said they have the red carpet laid out for us. I think that was the best thing I could hear coming from him and I definitely look forward to what he’s going to do this year.”

Dawkins said he believes Rhule had serious say in who his replacement would be. As such, Dawkins said he has faith in any decision Rhule makes and is convinced Collins is the right guy for the job. Dawkins thinks that ultimately players will make the difference; if the players that come after him put in the daily work, he thinks the program will be fine. 

A good head coach doesn’t hurt either. 

“Being an [alumnus], that’s just something that you want,” Reddick said. “Those younger guys, they’re like my little brothers. I just want to make sure they’re in the best hands as possible. (Athletic director) Pat Kraft went out there and found a great guy in Geoff Collins and I believe he’s going to do a tremendous job at Temple.”

While Dawkins and Reddick will be drafted this spring – barring unforeseen circumstances – they’ll just continue a trend set last year by Tavon Young, Matt Ionnidis and Tyler Matakevich, who were all selected in the 2016 draft. Dawkins and Reddick both said they’ve been leaning on their former teammates for advice during the early stages of the pre-draft process.

While Young was the first off the board among the Temple trio last year in the fourth round, there’s a good chance both Dawkins and Reddick will be long gone by that round this year. One talent evaluator said they’re much better prospects than the Temple kids from a year ago. 

And both guys are playing different positions this week. Dawkins, who is normally a tackle, is listed as a guard, and Reddick has been playing inside linebacker. 

This week, as the two prospects talk to NFL teams about their futures, they know they’re going to be asked about their pasts. One incident in particular. Both players were charged with felony aggravated assault and conspiracy charges for their part in a fight at a Philadelphia nightclub in January of 2015. In August of 2016, the two were placed in a diversionary program to avoid a trial. 

Before that, however, Dawkins and Reddick were suspended in March of 2015. The suspension lasted three months, during which their football futures appeared in doubt. It was a long three months. 

On Tuesday, Dawkins said recently he’s been thinking a lot about that time in his life as he prepares to enter the NFL. 

“Me personally, I own up to the situation itself,” he said. “As far as that, I don’t think it identifies me as a person. Everything happens for a reason and sadly to say, I’m actually glad it did happen, because it made me the person I am today.”