49ers sign seven undrafted rookies, cut five players

The 49ers included a dozen roster moves in the announcement confirming they have exercised their option on defensive lineman Arik Armstead‘s contract for the 2019 season.

Seven of those moves involved undrafted rookies joining the team. The 49ers have signed Houston wide receiver Steven Dunbar, San Diego tight end Ross Dwelley, Dartmouth quarterback Jack Heneghan, South Carolina offensive lineman Alan Knott, Syracuse offensive lineman Jamar McGloster, Frostburg State defensive lineman Niles Scott and Houston safety Terrell Williams.

They have to earn their position every week. Davis drove two hours each way to practice while she was attending college in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She wouldn’t get home until past midnight, and had to get up the next morning early to go to class. Last Halloween, she pulled all-nighters for three days in a row because she was in charge of making her field group’s Halloween costumes. At night, she hot glued Peter Pan and dwarf costumes together, and during the day she struggled to stay awake in class. I came to class one day and my eyes were bloodshot, and people were like, are you on drugs?

If he gets one, it won’t be for a while. General Manager Brandon Beane said on WGR Monday that the team wants to see how Benjamin fits into new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll’s system over the coming months before opening up talks about a new deal.

Benjamin joined the Bills in a trade with the Panthers during the 2017 season and caught 16 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown while dealing with a knee injury. Benjamin had surgery after the season, but has been at offseason workouts with the team this month.

Benjamin is set to make just over $8.45 million after the fifth-year option on his rookie deal was exercised. Benjamin is joined at the top of the receiver depth chart by Zay Jones and the Bills drafted a pair of receivers on Saturday to flesh out a thin group.

Jerry Jones: I “dropped the ball” in not getting Tony Romo, Jason Witten a title

“I respected so much how unique Tony Romo’s contribution was both from a leadership standpoint as well as just his command of the game, his presence, everything out there,” Jones said. “It has just been reinforced when I also think about Witten not being on the field. It can’t help but remind me of what you miss when you lose a Tony Romo. On the other hand, just as the very nature of what happened now [last year with Romo’s retirement], that gives the opening for somebody else to step up not only as a player but also from the standpoint of leadership. I think we’ve really got the opportunity to see that here certainly with Dak [Prescott] and the general leadership we have on that side of the ball.”

First-round wide receiver Calvin Ridley is the only pick left for the Falcons to sign with rookie minicamp starting on Friday.

He then was asked how the situation could have resulted in a grand jury indictment, if it was a false accusation.

“Again, I was accused of something I did not do,” Patricia said. “I went through the process, and the case was dismissed.”

Patricia thereafter avoided a question regarding whether he was in the woman’s hotel room, and whether consensual sex happened.

“Again, I did nothing wrong, and that’s all I’m going to say on that matter,” Patricia said.

He explained in response to the next question that he doesn’t regret not disclosing the incident to the Lions, because it never came up in any of his various job interviews, and he said that he never failed to be truthful with the Lions.

“I’m here to defend my honor and clear my name,” Patricia said, reading from a prepared text. “Twenty-two years ago I was falsely accused of something very serious, very serious allegations. There were claims made about me that never happened. While I’m thankful on one level that the process worked and the case was dismissed, at the same time I was never given the opportunity to defend myself or to allow to push back with the truth to clear my name. This was something that was very traumatic to me when I was 21 years old, and once it was finally addressed, I tried to put it behind me.

“For those of you that are just getting to know me and those that have known me for a long time, you should know that I was raised the right way by two amazing parents who taught me to know the difference between right and wrong.

Jets re-sign Dakota Dozier

The Jets added depth to their offensive line Friday, announcing they have re-signed Dakota Dozier.

The Jets made Dozier a fourth-round pick in 2014, and he has played at right guard and right tackle in his four seasons. He also can play center.

Dozier, 26, set career highs with 14 games played and three starts at right guard.

For his career, Dozier has played 31 games with five starts.

Profar got his first two hits of the season after starting 0 for 7. … Randal Grichuk went 0 for 3, extending his hitless streak to a career-long 22 at-bats. … Elvis Andrus, with two singles, has hit safely in nine of 10 games.

Blue Jays: SS Aledmys Diaz (back) played the entire game after leaving Tuesday’s game and went 0-for-3.

Rangers: RHP Tony Barnette (back) returned to the club after making back-to-back rehab appearances Thursday and Friday with Double-A Frisco. He is eligible to be activated at any time.

Blue Jays: LHP Jaime Garcia (0-0, 1.50 ERA) allowed one earned run in six innings in his season debut Monday against the White Sox.

Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (1-1, 3.38) has 18 strikeouts, which led the American League going into Saturday’s play.

“My main message is we’ve got to defend,” Kerr said before the Warriors’ 117-100 win over the Suns. “We’ve got to get back to being a top-five defensive team. I probably chose my words poorly in Indianapolis. When I said they didn’t care, that didn’t mean that they didn’t ‘care.’ What that meant to me was they didn’t box out. They didn’t get in the passing lanes. They didn’t compete at a high level. But when you say someone doesn’t care, that can be interpreted as maybe you’re questioning their character.

“I think everybody knows how I feel about our guys. They’re an amazing group, and they’re a championship group. So I probably chose my words poorly. But what I’m trying to remind my guys of is in order to win in the playoffs, you better be defending at a high level — and for the most part this year, I think we have, but the last eight, nine games, we have not. It’s not just that simple that you can flip the switch. That’s why I snapped. But you guys know me. I usually break two clipboards a year and yell at the team once, so my quota is now used up.”

Tyron Smith’s back “feeling great right now”

Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith missed three full games and parts of two others with a back injury last season and the Cowboys missed him a lot when he wasn’t in the lineup.

His absence was missed the most in back-to-back games to the Falcons and Eagles that saw Dak Prescott get sacked 12 times in losses that loomed large when the 9-7 Cowboys wound up missing the postseason. It’s the second straight year that Smith has dealt with back issues and he said Saturday that he started doing rehab work earlier this offseason in hopes of avoiding more problems in the future.

Jackson’s flying solo through the draft process is unusual, and it some ways it probably does hurt, because he doesn’t have an extra advocate teams trust going to bat for him. But in the end, it won’t make or break his draft stock. Jackson still will be drafted based on the comfort level teams have with his dynamic but hard-to-compartmentalize skill set.

Jackson’s workout also provided a reminder that he did not play with the best offensive supporting cast in college, especially those who caught passes from him. Jackson threw some lasers, but some drops by former teammates didn’t help him look as good as should have.

It would be fun to see Jackson paired early with an elite veteran wideout, a la Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins immediately working well together last season.

Karl-Anthony Towns slammed his way to 24 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who toughed out a 113-94 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night to move one step closer to the postseason.

“We had to play as if we had that kind of desperation in us,” said Towns, who had five dunks to help ignite the crowd.

They haven’t always displayed that attitude down the stretch, which is why they weren’t able to clinch that long-sought spot before their 82nd game. They’ll have to beat surging Denver on Wednesday night to get in, because the Nuggets won their sixth straight game to stay tied with the Wolves in eighth place. Denver’s victory over Portland ended about an hour after Minnesota’s, but the players expressed nonchalance about following along as they left the arena.

“I’m not going to check my phone. I’m going to go eat,” Jimmy Butler said wryly, after scoring 15 points in 23 minutes, his second game back from the knee injury.

Jeff Teague added 24 points for the Timberwolves, who trailed by 10 points early before taking over against a depleted Grizzlies team that beat them 101-93 exactly two weeks ago in one of their worst losses of the season.

Randy Gregory ready to apply for reinstatement

Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory is close to applying for reinstatement, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reports.

Gregory, 25, has not played in the NFL since Week 17 of the 2016 season. The NFL banned him for repeated violations of the league’s substance abuse policy.

New catch rule not applied in Super Bowl LII More When the NFL revealed its new catch rule on Tuesday, there were those in the media who said the new guidelines were in play during Super Bowl LII between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots in February. On Wednesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about it during a press conference at the owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., but Goodell did not answer. Instead, he passed the question on to Al Riveron, NFL vice president of officiating, who was standing next to Goodell. No, we did not, Riveron said. In order for us to overturn a call we had to see clearly indisputable evidence.

Ogletree’s cap number of roughly $12 million for each of the next three years was a luxury Snead could no longer afford once the Rams determined to fulfill Phillips’ wish for premium cornerbacks.

By swapping out Ogletree, Robert Quinn and Trumaine Johnson for perennial Pro Bowlers such as Talib, Peters and Ndamukong Suh, the Rams are emerging as perhaps the most compelling team in the league. If Snead manages to land mercurial Giants megastar Odell Beckham as the final masterstroke, NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal won’t be the only one proclaiming football’s version of Showtime in Los Angeles.

If you’re talking about racism and sexism, that moment in my life showed the cracks in everyone I knew, she explained. I was at Roc Nation at the time and Jay-Z was managing me. The lawsuit was so ridiculous, it proposed that they would keep one hundred percent of my earnings for the rest of my life if I ever earned more than $2 million. Jay-Z was like,’You should sign that sh–,’ and I was like,’No.’ While M.I.A. said she’s over the whole incident, she does have some lingering frustrations. A middle finger, it’s like get a f—ing grip, she said.

The Giants are often held as the standard-bearers for how an NFL franchise should be run, praised for their consistent ability to plan long-term with patience and for their franchise-wide stability – at least until recently. However, if New York ultimately decides to trade its best player in Odell Beckham Jr., just as he’s entering the prime of his career, they no longer deserve to be mentioned among the league’s elite. It would be, without hyperbole, one of the worst moves in the history of the NFL. But first, let’s explore exactly why the Giants are even entertaining the idea of trading an elite talent.

West, take note: Utah Jazz punctuate dominant run since January with playoff berth

Not long after the Utah Jazz clinched a coveted spot in the Western Conference playoffs, Joe Ingles was asked how satisfying it was to prove people wrong who might’ve overlooked the Jazz after Gordon Hayward departed for the Boston Celtics in free agency last summer.

Roseman also is playing it smart with Foles, who has a year left on his contract, by keeping the QB as insurance behind Wentz. He will wait for a team to make an offer too good to decline, just like he did with the Sam Bradford trade in 2016. And if the offers don’t materialize, Roseman will sit tight with the league’s best backup QB.

Roseman won SN’s 2017 NFL Executive of the Year award over several quality candidates, including the Rams’ Les Snead, the Vikings’ Rick Spielman and the Jaguars’ duo of Tom Coughlin and David Caldwell. The Patriots’ in-effect GM Bill Belichick also should be considered a perennial candidate.

But for 2017, Roseman rightfully has won an award that is especially meaningful since it is voted upon by his NFL front-office peers. They respect the job that was done by a man who was close to walking the plank in Philadelphia.

Instead, Roseman soon will receive a Super Bowl ring on top of this award.

In three seasons, Boswell has made 85 of 95 field goal attempts. He made the Pro Bowl in 2017 after making 35 of 38 field goal tries.

Cueto is 11-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 15 career starts against the Diamondbacks.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy left AT&T Park on Monday night not 100 percent sure Cueto would be his starting pitcher Tuesday.

The Giants are planning to promote right-hander Tyler Beede from the minors for a start at some point this week.

That initially was supposed to happen Wednesday, but Bochy has since had second thoughts, thinking perhaps Cueto would benefit from another day’s rest.

The Giants are expected to announce their plans early enough on Tuesday so that Beede could join the team if called upon to make his major league debut the same day.

Arizona will feature a fast-starting pitcher of their own in left-hander Patrick Corbin, who threw 7 1/3 shutout innings, allowing just one hit, in a home start against the Dodgers last Wednesday.

Tyrod Taylor has no plans to be “bridge” quarterback for Browns

The Browns still are expected to use a top-four choice on a quarterback, which has many calling recent acquisition Tyrod Taylor a stopgap. But Taylor doesn’t see himself as a “bridge.”

The penalties also partly mirror the investigation pursued by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Thursday’s list included 13 people who had been indicted by Mueller, meaning they were already subject to legal jeopardy that is more serious than the sanctions.

A senior administration official said the timing of Thursday’s announcements were due to the completion of months of work to prepare the sanctions and the collective desire among the United States and allies to respond quickly to the “atrocious hostile act” against the former spy in England.

His answer, though interpreter Ippei Mizuhara: “First of all, he always tells me that he wants me to enjoy the game. That’s the first thing he wants me to think about. Of course, after every day of training, we talk, we communicate, we see if we need to adjust, add more or take some away. So we will be communicating, and he is willing to listen to what I have to say, and I will have some input in my role.”

In August, Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions received a five-year, $135 million extension from the Detroit Lions that included $92 million guaranteed.

With huge cap hits early and none late, it essentially translates to a deal for Stafford that is fully guaranteed for the first few years but left up to the team to decide whether or not to keep near the end of the contract.

The major difference is that Cousins will be free to go after a new contract in 2021 — from the Vikings or the free agency market — no matter how he plays.

Texans tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz’s NFL career has reached a premature conclusion.

Houston placed Fiedorowicz, 26, on the Reserve/Retired list, the team announced Thursday.

What about Hitchens? Here you go: Split Yds/Carry Run First Down% Pass Rating Opposing QBR Hitchens on field 4.1 22.8% 104.7 65.6 Hitchens off field 4.2 25.1% 84.6 43.5 The Cowboys were a significantly worse pass defense with Hitchens on the field.

We can’t pin that entirely on him, but when you’re paying an inside linebacker $9 million per year, you’re expecting him to be an every-down player and difference-maker against both the run and the pass.

Hitchens should be a sound run defender, but run-stuffing inside linebackers aren’t difficult to find in late March.

The Chiefs are projecting Hitchens to be a Pro Bowl-caliber inside linebacker and paying him like one despite never showing that sort of tape on the field.

More often than not, that ends up turning into a disappointing free-agent deal.

The former Packers wideout is headed to the Bay, signing a two-year deal with the Oakland Raiders worth $15 million ($13 million guaranteed), NFL Network’s James Jones reported. The team later officially announced the signing.?

In a related move, Oakland also is cutting receiver Michael Crabtree, NFL Network’s James Palmer reported.

It’s a staggering sum for a guy who has never made a Pro Bowl or an All-Pro team.

New York still needs to add as many hog mollies as general manager Dave Gettleman can get his hands on, but Solder should lock down one key position of need, albeit at an extravagant price.

The Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs didn’t have as much work to do this offseason to help second-year quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes.

Houston is on the hunt for offensive line help and Kansas City will add wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

Every year, teams in the NFL climb from the bottom of the standings to become overnight playoff contenders. A year ago, it was the Rams and the Jaguars who surprised most. Chicago could be a team to keep an eye on in 2018.

Despite the offense struggling to move the ball through the air and stay on the field, the Bears finished No. 9 in points allowed and No. 10 in total defense.

The offense has been centered around Jordan Howard, who’s racked up 2,435 yards and 15 touchdowns in just two seasons. He’ll only be helped if Chicago can find a way to start stretching the field.

That begins with Robinson, Gabriel, and Burton, who can inject speed into the Bears’ pass game. But they also have picks No. 8 and 39 in the 2018 NFL Draft to continue adding weapons for Trubisky. So the Bears might just be getting started.

The Oakland Raiders have given their offense a new look, agreeing to a contract with wide receiver Jordy Nelson, sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

They have also added running back Doug Martin and cut wide receiver Michael Crabtree.

Nelson will get a two-year, $15 million deal, a source tells Schefter, including $13 million guaranteed.

Jordy Nelson had 53 catches for 482 yards and 6 touchdowns for the Packers last season.? Jim Matthews/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin via USA TODAY Sports Terms of the Martin deal are not yet known, though the Raiders will save more than $7.68 million against the salary cap with the release of Crabtree, who was due base salaries of $7 million and $7.5 million in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Nelson spent 10 seasons in Green Bay.

He and quarterback Aaron Rodgers hold the Packers record for most touchdowns by a quarterback-receiver duo with 65.

Chiefs to re-sign Anthony Sherman

The Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to a deal to re-sign fullback Anthony Sherman, a source confirmed to ESPN.

It seems pretty clear that Seattle wanted to move on from Bennett, who might be the first part of a painful defensive rebuild over the days to come. The Seahawks would likely have cut Bennett, given that the return — a fifth-round pick and flyer WR Marcus Johnson, with a seventh-rounder going back to Philadelphia — won’t move the needle.

Chris Ivory has been one of the worst running backs in football over the last two years, averaging 3.6 yards per carry while producing more fumbles (seven) than touchdowns (five). It’s no surprise he was cut by the Jaguars, but it’s more difficult to see why the Bills prioritized him on a two-year, $5.5-million deal when backs of his ilk are free to acquire in the market. Remember that LeGarrette Blount, a more effective power back, languished in free agency for months after an 18-touchdown season before settling for a one-year, $1.3-million deal with the Eagles last offseason. The Bills just guaranteed Ivory $3.3 million, which seems inexplicable for a team which already has the league’s most expensive running back in LeSean McCoy.

Arguably the most difficult position to assess for the Redskins front office is at running back, which took the brunt of the injury load last season. It began with an ACL injury to Keith Marshall in training camp and continued throughout the year, putting Rob Kelley on Injured Reserve after he played in just seven games and did the same with Chris Thompson, who had a stellar campaign until breaking his leg against the Saints in late November.

For the second time in the past seven years, the Denver Broncos have roared into free agency to fix a quarterback problem. In 2012 it was Peyton Manning and this year it’s Case Keenum. Sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter the Broncos will reel in the 30-year-old Keenum to be their quarterback of the present and the future when free agency officially opens Wednesday. Keenum is expected to become the first of the high-profile quarterbacks in the open market to agree to a deal.

The Broncos also considered Kirk Cousins and had some discussions about Teddy Bridgewater, who was a teammate of Keenum’s this past season with the Minnesota Vikings. Keenum helped power the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game last season as Minnesota went 11-3 in his regular-season starts in place of an injured Sam Bradford. Keenum finished the season with 3,547 yards passing to go with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions.