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NFL Combine: News and notes

The NFL Scouting Combine has officially begun in Indianapolis. While none of the players have gone through their on-field drills yet, here’s what we’ve learned so far.

The Oakland Raiders are going to play like it’s the NFL in 1998. New head coach Jon Gruden spoke about about his disdain for analytics and wanting to employ more fullbacks. Oakland might be worried. A decade away from the game — and 15 years since he last made the playoffs — might be taking its toll.

Staying in the AFC West, the Kansas City Chiefs are making some very big waves this offseason. On Thursday, general manager Brett Veach stepped to the microphone and stated that Patrick Mahomes is one of the best players he’s ever seen. Of course, Mahomes was drafted last year with the 10th-overall pick to be the face of the franchise. So far, Mahomes is 1-0, so there’s that.

The New York Jets have also been in the news. The team is losing starting running back Matt Forte, who is stepping away from football. After 10 NFL years and a borderline Hall of Fame career, Forte is going in another direction at 32. Additionally, the Jets released former All-Pro defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, only two seasons into a five-year, $86 million deal. Wilkerson has been a bust sing the ink dried on that deal, and now looks for another place of employment.


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In the NFC, Mike Zimmer talked about the Minnesota Vikings and their quarterback situation. With all three of their current signal-callers ready to hit the market in Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford, Zimmer spoke about the challenges ahead. He also took a quasi dig at Keenum, asking if the quarterback will be more like this past season or his other, more lackluster campaigns moving forward. Not the best answer.

The Seattle Seahawks also talked about their roster, with head coach Pete Carroll stating that the team would listen to offers on everybody. Of course, some offers will actually be entertained unlike others, and one name to watch is Michael Bennett. The 32-year-old has been a Pro Bowler in each of the past three years. After notching 8.5 sacks in 2017, he could be wearing a different uniform in 2018.

Finally, we had our first injury of the combine, with Ohio State Buckeyes center Billy Price tearing his pectoral muscle on the third rep of his bench press session. It’s unclear how long the Remington Award winner will be out for, but his stock dropped with all the uncertainty ahead. A tough break for a very good player.

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