The timing is curious, but Giant Dez Bryant still feels unlikely.
In response to a report Tuesday that Dez Bryant wanted to join the Giants, Brandon Marshall wrote (on Instagram) "Sorry baby bro no room." Thursday, New York made room, releasing Marshall after one year with the team. The Giants said the 34-year-old failed a physical. He only played five games for the franchise, registering 18 catches before going down for the season with a left ankle injury that required surgery. Despite the disappointing year, Marshall "was under the impression that he would remain on the Giants' roster in 2018 after agreeing in early March to take a pay cut," according to The Washington Post. This week's move saves the Giants roughly $5 million in cap space.
At the moment, it seems roster arithmetic led to Marshall's ouster, rather than a desire to sign Bryant. Asked about the former Cowboys receiver possibly coming to New York, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman said "We're interested in everybody." (Translation: No comment.) However, if you were going to replace Marshall with Bryant, wouldn't you—ya'know—sign Bryant first, or at least have him in for a meeting/workout? Maybe New York is just playing hard-to-get, but I think it's more likely that the new GM and new coach Pat Shurmur are looking for fewer enigmatic, aging wideouts, not just a different one.
1. The NFL released the full regular season schedule Thursday evening. We've got plenty of coverage on the site, but one interesting tidbit: Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers will be on in primetime three times during a single 18-day stretch.
2. Florida football is going to look a little different this year as the Jaguars and Dolphins have updated their uniforms. Jacksonville's change is more drastic, moving from controversial two-toned helmets to one of the simplest designs in the league. But rather than debating the looks, spend a couple minutes listening to this speech from Jags linebacker Telvin Smith about his former teammate Paul Posluszny. You'll come out of it thinking more of both of them.
3. Now that, following months of speculation, the NFL draft is almost here, Ben Volin tells us "Why the NFL draft isn’t as important as it used to be."
4. Robert Mays has an educational look at the continued growth of tight end—wide receiver hybrids and a couple more who could go in the first round this year.
5. J.J. Watt made Time's 2018 list of the 100 Most Influential People, with the Houston mayor joking (?) that the star defensive lineman could replace him.
6. One reported reason for Peyton Manning's hesitancy to join a broadcast booth? Having to critique his brother.
7. Michael Joseph went from "scrawny high school bench-warmer to the nation's top small-school defender." But can the product of the University of Dubuque cut it in the NFL?
8. USA Today polled agents to find out which executives they respect the most (Ozzie Newsome), trust the least (Bruce Allen) and so on.
9. Also in USA Today, the growing wave of female NFL agents. "Just because the NFL is so testosterone-driven and everyone has an ego, it doesn’t mean women can’t be successful," Oklahoma City-based agent Kelli Masters said.
10. Every spot on an active roster is valuable, and yet every team reserves one solely for a long snapper. Why?
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Well, Mel Kiper, you've had a good run.
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