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NFL notebook: Jaguars’ Fowler will miss 2015 with torn ACL


The Sports Xchange

Dante Fowler, the third pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, suffered a torn ACL in his first practice with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday and will miss the 2015 season.

The severity of the injury was first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN and also corroborated by Adam Silver of NFL Media.

Fowler, a pass rusher out of Florida, fell to the ground clutching his left knee during 11-on-11 drills at rookie minicamp. He was carted off the field and taken to be checked by doctors.

—New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had no response to the Ted Wells report during an appearance at Salem State University in Massachusetts on Thursday night.

“I don’t have really any reaction,” Brady told moderator Jim Gray. “I haven’t had much time to digest it fully. But when I do, I’ll be sure to let you know how I feel about it.”

Wells found Brady and the Patriots’ equipment staff were all likely culpable in reducing the air pressure, mandated at 12.5 pounds, of 11 footballs in the AFC Championship game in January against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Patriots, Brady, locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski could be punished soon by the league.

Brady’s agent, Don Yee, released a statement saying the report “contains significant and tragic flaws” and “is a significant and terrible disappointment.”

—Second-round draft choice Randy Gregory was one of four players to leave the Dallas Cowboys’ first minicamp practice Friday on a very hot Texas day.

Gregory, who had complained about the heat earlier in practice, appeared “very groggy” as he was assisted off the field by a team trainer, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Also leaving under the aid of medical personnel were third-round offensive lineman Chaz Green and undrafted wide receivers Lucky Whitehead and Deontay Greenberry.

—Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine said Josh McCown will be the team’s No. 1 quarterback throughout offseason workouts, minicamp and into training camp.

Pettine also said McCown is the favorite to be the starting quarterback over Johnny Manziel.

Back with the team after he was discharged from 10 weeks of rehab, Manziel is trying to put his rookie failures and past partying behind him. Pettine said Manziel’s job is to work on his recovery and on learning the new offense.

“We’re not going to start talking competition,” Pettine said. “Josh, like I said, will more than likely be the starter going into camp; and, in the foreseeable future, I don’t see that changing. I’m not going to commit to a starter for Game 1, but you have to put somebody out there first, and it’s going to be Josh.”

—The Houston Texans signed all seven draft choices and they were on the field Friday for rookie minicamp.

Signing were cornerback Kevin Johnson, the Texans’ first-round draft pick, inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney (second round), receiver Jaelen Strong (third), receiver Keith Mumphery (fifth), outside linebacker Reshard Cliett (sixth), defensive end Christian Covington (sixth) and running back Kenny Hilliard (seventh).

According to the Houston Chronicle, Johnson signed a four-year contract worth $10 million (guaranteed), with a signing bonus of $5.5 million. McKinney signed a four-year deal worth $5.3 million, including $3.2 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $2.1 million.

—The New England Patriots announced signed eight of their 11 draft picks, including second-round safety Jordan Richards.

They also secured four-year contracts with fourth-round defensive lineman Trey Flowers, fourth-round offensive lineman Tre’ Jackson, fourth-round offensive lineman Shaq Mason, sixth-round tight end A.J. Derby, sixth-round linebacker Matthew Wells, seventh-round defensive lineman Xzavier Dickson and seventh-round defensive back Darryl Roberts.

The Patriots also announced that they have signed seven undrafted rookie signings: Michigan quarterback-turned-receiver Devin Gardner, Georgia center David Andrews, California receiver Chris Harper, UAB defensive back Jimmy Jean, Auburn defensive back Brandon King, Ball State defensive back Eric Patterson and Vanderbilt defensive lineman Vince Taylor.

—The Seattle Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson reportedly are “10s of millions” apart in contract negotiations.

According to 710 ESPN’s Danny O’Neil, the Seahawks have offered a four-year deal worth close to $80 million.

According to Jason La Canfora of, the Seahawks’ offer looks more like the deals signed by Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton and San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, with a pay-as-you-go structure. Dalton’s deal averages $16 million a year, and Kaepernick’s averages $19 million (with de-escalators).

The going rate for top-level quarterbacks is at least $20 million per season.

—The Seahawks signed six of their eight draft picks and 10 undrafted rookies ahead of their rookie minicamp Friday.

All of the Day 3 draft picks were signed: fourth-round guards Mark Glowinski (West Virginia) and Terry Poole (San Diego St.), fifth-round cornerback Tye Smith (Towson), sixth-round defensive end Obum Gwacham (Oregon State), sixth-round offensive line convert Kristjan Sokoli (Buffalo) and seventh-round safety Ryan Murphy (Oregon State).

Texas long snapper Nate Boyer, a former Green Beret, headlines the undrafted signings. Also under contract are offensive tackle Jesse Davis (Idaho); running back Thomas Rawls (Central Michigan) and Rod Smith (Ohio State); defensive backs Keenan Lambert (Norfolk State), Ronald Martin (LSU) and Triston Wade (Texas-San Antonio); linebackers Quayshawn Nealy (Georgia Tech) and Alex Singleton (Montana St.) and defensive end Tory Slater (West Georgia).

The only draft picks unsigned are second-round defensive end Frank Clark and third-round wide receiver/kick returner Tyler Lockett.

—The Chicago Bears signed center Hroniss Grasu to a four-year contract to lock up their 2015 NFL Draft class.

All of the Bears’ draft selections from last week are now under contract after the signing of Grasu, a third-round choice from Oregon.

The Bears previously reached deals with West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White (first round), Florida State defensive tackle Eddie Goldman (second), Michigan State running back Jeremy Langford (fourth), Penn State safety Adrian Amos (fifth) and TCU offensive tackle Tayo Fabuluje (sixth).

—The Pittsburgh Steelers signed their first of two sixth-round selections, defensive end L.T. Walton, from the 2015 NFL Draft.

The 6-foot-5, 319-pound Walton played at Central Michigan. In 39 games, he totaled 106 tackles to go along with six sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He started all 12 games in 2014 and earned first-team All-MAC.

Walton is the first of the Steelers’ eight 2015 draft selections to sign with the team.

—The Green Bay Packers signed quarterback Brett Hundley, linebacker Jake Ryan and three other 2015 NFL Draft picks on Friday.

Hundley was a fifth-round choice from UCLA, and Ryan was a fourth-round pick from Michigan.

Also signing were three sixth-round selections: tight end Kennard Backman of UAB, defensive tackle Christian Ringo of Louisiana-Lafayette and fullback Aaron Ripkowski of Oklahoma.

The Packers also announced the signing of 17 undrafted rookies: running backs John Crockett (North Dakota State) and Alonzo Harris (Louisiana-Lafayette); receivers Javess Blue (Kentucky), Ricky Collins (Texas A&M-Commerce), Adrian Coxson (Stony Brook), Jimmie Hunt (Missouri) and Larry Pinkard (Old Dominion); tight end Mitchell Henry (Western Kentucky); offensive linemen Fabbians Ebbele (Arizona), Marcus Reed (Fayetteville State) and Matt Rotheram (Pittsburgh); defensive tackle Lavon Hooks (Mississippi); linebackers Tavarus Dantzler (Bethune-Cookman), Jermauria Rasco (LSU) and James Vaughters (Stanford); and cornerbacks Bernard Blake (Colorado State) and LaDarius Gunter (Miami).

—The Baltimore Ravens announced the signing of 15 undrafted free agents, including Ohio State offensive tackle Darryl Baldwin and Oklahoma cornerback Julian Wilson.

The Ravens signed four other linemen: Mississippi State’s Blaine Clausell, Harvard’s Nick Easton, Rutgers’ Kaleb Johnson and BYU’s De’Ondre Wesley.

Their other signings were Prairie View A&M quarterback Jerry Lovelocke, LSU running back Terrence Magee, East Carolina wide receiver Cam Worthy, Sacramento State receiver DeAndre Carter, Colorado State-Pueblo linebacker Darius Allen, Michigan linebacker Brennen Beyer, Alabama linebacker Trey DePriest, Alabama safety Nick Perry and Louisiana-Monroe punter Justin Manton.

—The Carolina Panthers signed fifth-round running back Cameron Artis-Payne.

The 5-foot-10, 212-pound Artis-Payne spent his final two college seasons at Auburn following two years at Allan Hancock College. At Auburn, he played in 27 games with 12 starts, totaling 2,218 yards and 19 touchdowns on 394 carries.

The Panthers signed three of their 2015 NFL Draft picks Thursday night — linebacker Shaq Thompson (first round), offensive tackle Daryl Williams (fourth) and linebacker David Mayo (fifth).

Only second-round wide receiver Devin Funchess has not signed a deal from this year’s draft class.

—The St. Louis Rams agreed to terms with 15 undrafted rookie free agents.

The group includes running back Malcolm Brown (Texas), cornerback Imoan Claiborne (Northwestern State, La.), wide receiver Isiah Ferguson (Arkansas-Pine Bluff), running back Terrence Franks (Texas State), cornerback Montell Garner (South Alabama), safety Jacob Hagen (Liberty), safety Jay Hughes (Mississippi State), fullback Zach Laskey (Georgia Tech), defensive end Matt Longacre (Northwest Missouri State), linebacker Cameron Lynch (Syracuse), linebacker Keshaun Malone (Bacone), wide receiver Bradley Marquez (Texas Tech), wide receiver Tyler Slavin (New Mexico Highlands), defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat (Iowa) and tackle Darrell Williams (South Florida).

—The Washington Redskins signed rookie free agent offensive lineman Takoby Cofield of Duke and waived offensive tackle Xavier Nixon.

The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Cofield started 42 straight games at left tackle for Duke during his college career and was named All-Atlantic Coast Conference as a senior.

The 6-6, 330-pound Nixon was with the Indianapolis Colts for the past two seasons before signing with the Redskins in February. Nixon originally signed with Washington in 2013 out of Florida before he was cut.

—Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent, who was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter in the 2012 death of teammate Jerry Brown, has retired.

The Cowboys officially placed Brent on the reserved/retired list Friday, the first day of their three-day rookie minicamp at Valley Ranch.

This is the second time the 27-year-old Brent has retired. He also announced his retirement in July 2013, while he was facing charges in Brown’s death.

Brent was convicted in January 2014, given 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation.

—Former Seattle Seahawks tight end Jerramy Stevens received a one-month jail sentence for drunken driving in January in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Stevens was driving the U.S. women’s soccer team van with the lights off at night when the vehicle was stopped. His wife is U.S. goalie Hope Solo, who was in the van at the time and later suspended from the national team for 30 days.

After Stevens’ sentencing Friday in Los Angeles, he began serving his jail sentence, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

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