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QB Shuffle: Bills cut Jeff Tuel, claim Matt Simms off waivers


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(11:09 am ET) Bills coach Rex Ryan didn't pass up the chance to reunite with one of his former quarterbacks, by cutting Jeff Tuel and claiming the former Jets passer Matt Simms off waivers on Friday, per nfl.com.

Tuel was a favorite of former Bills coach Doug Marrone, but with Ryan now the head man in charge his fate was doomed.

Simms, who played in just four games while with the Jets, will still be a long-shot to make the team because of the three-man competition at the quarterback spot already brewing between Matt Cassel, Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel.


Bills awarded waiver claim for QB Matt Simms


by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/29/2015) The quarterback situation in Buffalo has gotten a little more complicated on Friday. The Bills were awarded their waiver claim on QB Matt Simms, who was released by the Jets on Thursday, according to the team's official website. 

Simms has played just four games and has completed 19 of 39 passes for 195 yards, with a touchdown and an interception in his career.


Report: QB Matt Simms asked for release from Jets


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/29/2015) Third-year quarterback Matt Simms asked for his release from the Jets on Thursday, a source close to the situation told The Record.

Simms, who had no comment when reached, apparently saw little future with that team when it selected Bryce Petty in the draft. He wanted to test the free agent market before mandatory minicamps began in June. If he clears waivers, he can sign with any team.

The 26-year-old Simms has played in just four career games with a poor 48.7 completion rate.


Eagles' Sanchez on QB competition: 'Everybody wants to be the starter'


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/29/2015) The Eagles have a quarterback competition on their hands, and Mark Sanchez is making it clear he wants to be the starter, per NFL.com.

"Everybody wants to be the starter and I'm no different," Sanchez said.

Coach Chip Kelly has said that Sanchez and Sam Bradford will compete for the starting spot and that the best player will be behind center for the start of the season.

“Everybody’s in competition,” Kelly said, per ESPN.com, “and the best players play.”

Sanchez played in nine games for the Eagles last season, passing for 2,418 yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Bradford missed all of last season due to an ACL tear.


Former Jet Garrard: Geno Smith too 'worried about outside noise'


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/29/2015) Jets quarterback Geno Smith has had a tumultous start to his career, to say the least. In his first two years in the league, Smith has underperformed while consistently turning the ball over.

Former Jets quarterback and backup to Smith, David Garrard says he knows why Smith has struggled to live up to the hype he had coming out of West Virginia, per ESPN.com.

"I definitely think Geno has the ability to be a pretty good quarterback. I just think sometimes he’s worried about the outside noise," Garrard said. "He’s worried about what his teammates think, what his coaches think, what the media thinks, what the fans think and he’s not just concentrating on his game and just making the plays that he should be making. You can see a lot of times in practice and in the meeting room, he’s spot on; he knows exactly what to do. But he has moments where he’s not doing that."

Smith threw for 2,525 yards with 13 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 14 games last season.


Eagles coach Chip Kelly: 'Everybody's in competition' for QB spot


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/29/2015) Eagles coach Chip Kelly said Sam Bradford and Mark Sanchez will actively compete for the top quarterback spot this season, per ESPN.com.

“Everybody’s in competition,” Kelly said, “and the best players play.”

Sanchez played in nine games for the Eagles last season, passing for 2,418 yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Bradford missed all of last season due to an ACL tear.


Giants QB Eli Manning is expecting best pro season next year


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/29/2015) Giants quarterback Eli Manning is an accomplished 11-year veteran. There isn't much for the two-time Super Bowl MVP to prove, except that he will have his best season ever as a pro next year, according to NFL.com.

"I am," Manning said when asked if he was expecting his best season ever. "I like the guys we have in the locker room, I like our talent, I like how everybody's approaching this season, I'm looking forward to it."

Manning will certainly have the weapons at his disposal for a fantastic season. Wide receiver Odell Beckham, the 2014 Offensive Rookie of the Year, is as talented a player there is. A healthy Victor Cruz will scare opposing defenses. And Rueben Randle has improved every season in the league. 

"I think he can have a dominant season," Cruz said. "I think that with the type of offense we have, and the way that we all can click come September and all that good stuff, I think it's gonna make for a very, very dominant type of offense where we could go and put up 28, 35 points at a clip, and really do some fun things this year."

Manning will have to try to eclipse last season's performance, when he threw for 4,410 yards and 30 touchdowns.


Packers QB Rodgers could have more control after play-calling change


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/29/2015) Aaron Rodgers was at the helm of the league's highest-scoring offense last season, and he could now have even more control of that offense this season, per ESPN.com.

Rodgers, who won the his second NFL MVP award while helping the Packers score 30.4 points per game, will probably be more involved in every facet of the offense this year -- including some play-calling.

"He has," Packers quarterbacks coach, Alex Van Pelt, said when asked if Rodgers could call plays. "He could. Sure. Definitely."

The official play-calling duties are in the hands of associate head coach Tome Clements, after coach Mike McCarthy passed them down before last season. The switch is what can give Rodgers more freedom than ever when it comes to the play selection.

"I've always had a lot of freedom," Rodgers said. "It's just occasionally the personnel groupings restricts some of the checks you can make. But that's kind of a natural progression for a quarterback who's been in a system for a long time, if they can handle it to do more things. I have always liked a good starting point for a play, and then have the ability to get us in a better play if you can do it quickly and it’s clean."

Rodgers passed for 4,381 yards and 38 touchdowns in 16 games last season.


Eagles QB Mark Sanchez optimistic as offseason rolls on


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) A stronger arm, greater familiarity with the offense and more confidence has Eagles quarterback Mark Sanchez feeling quite good these days.

Sanchez underwent shoulder surgery two years ago that affected him early last season. He expects to be better in 2015, especially if given an opportunity to play over newcomer Sam Bradford.

"First thing, physically, I feel so much better," he told the team website. "The farther it gets away from surgery and all the reps I've had, all the rehab on through, it can only get better and stronger. So this is definitely the best I've ever felt. And then as far as the scheme, every rep, every time we sit down and watch film, every meeting, that can only help with my growth as well."

The chance to play is one reason why Sanchez chose to return this offseason to the Eagles.

"Were there other opportunitites? Absolutely," he said. "Did they look potentially good, better, similar, maybe worse? Potentially, yeah, there was some stuff out there. But when I factored it all in, I just felt this was the best spot for me. I enjoy playing for coach Kelly, I love this system, I love the tempo, I love the pace."

Sanchez also expressed a desire to remain on the team for which he threw his highest completition percentage of his career in 2014. He hit on 64.1 percent, by far a personal best.

Chip Kelly has seen a difference in Sanchez.

"I think you can see it in how he's performing out there now," he said. "He's also not learning an offense again. ... He is really comfortable in terms of the scheme."


Browns' Josh McCown not bothered by 'game manager' label


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Browns quarterback Josh McCown brushes off the negative connotation around phrases like "game manager" and "building around the quarterback," per the team's website.

"That stuff doesn't bother me," McCown said after Tuesday’s OTA. "We're trying to win a championship. You can call it what you want to call it. I just want to win football games. That's my main focus. I understand who I am and how I want to go about winning football games. That's the key for us."

Coach Mike Pettine understands why McCown was attracted to Cleveland as a potential landing spot this offseason.

"I think he sees that as potentially a way to win football games," Pettine said. "I think virtually any quarterback in the league, if we said, ‘Hey, we want to get you in second-and-5 and not second-and-11. We want to get you in third-and-2 and not third-and-8,’ I think they’d all be appreciative of that."

McCown also had praise for his new offensive line after getting to work with the unit.

"I knew they were physically good, you see it on tape, but these guys are so smart," McCown said. "It's rare to get a group of five guys that can really see the field the way they do. I've said this all along, they were a big reason why I wanted to come here. After being with them now the last five or six weeks, had I known it was this good, I might not have even had to take a visit (before signing). They're really sharp. I'm looking forward to continuing to work with them."


Jets announce release of quarterback Matt Simms


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/28/2015) The Jets released quarterback Matt Simms, the team announced on Thursday.

Simms, who was buried in the depth chart with the Jets, has played in four career games, completing 19 of 39 passes for 195 yards a touchdown and an interception.


Free agent QB Michael Vick: 'Last year was a wake-up call'


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Veteran quarterback Michael Vick is a man without a team. He's 34 years old. And the last game he played in the NFL caused him to be benched.

Vick hit rock-bottom with a 7-for-19 effort for the Jets in a loss to Buffalo last November. But he's working to prove that he'd be a worthy addition.

"I still feel like I can help a football team win a couple of games," he told the Virginian-Pilot.

Vick, who has been working out at a facility owned by former Dolphins standout receiver Chris Chambers, questioned his drive after last season. He said he went "back to the drawing board" and sought to gain five pounds while maintaining his speed and quickness against linemen and linebackers who have gained a step on him over the years.

"At the end of the day, football is what I love to do," he said. "When you have passion for it, you have to sacrifice and put the hard work in. ... Sometimes, it takes certain things to wake you up and (last year) was certainly a wake-up call for me."


Saints QB Brees on Graham: 'Can't dwell on who you don't have'


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/28/2015) Saints quarterback Drew Brees lost a huge offensive weapon in tight end Jimmy Graham this offseason, but the Pro Bowler is still confident in the weapons he'll have this year, per The Times-Picayune.

"You can't dwell on who you don't have," Brees said."I love Ben Watson and Josh Hill and I feel like they can make a big impact for us."

The Saints traded Graham to the Seahawks this offseason, but added runningback C.J. Spiller, who has already impressed Brees.

"There's really nothing he can't do," Brees said of Spiller.

Graham caught 85 passes for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns last season for the Saints.


Eagles' Chip Kelly on Tim Tebow: 'He's a quarterback'


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/28/2015) There's no longer a mystery as to what the Eagles brought Tim Tebow in to do. He's a quarterback.

Coach Chip Kelly said the team is not looking for Tebow to play another position, per NFL.com.

"He's a quarterback," Kelly said. "That's how we're looking at Timmy. We're not looking at him at any other position."

Kelly emphasized that Tebow has improved behind center.

"You guys will see him today. Watch him throw. I think he's improved," Kelly said of Tebow. "He's spent a lot of time in the last few years in terms of working on his game."

Tebow hasn't played in the NFL since 2012.


Kelly: 'We've to plenty of time' to wait for Eagles QB Sam Bradford


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Chip Kelly has stated that Eagles presumed starting quarterback Sam Bradford must get back on the field and prove something before he is proclaimed as such.

It hasn't happened yet. He was limited in workouts this spring and has been absent from OTA drills, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. Chief competitor Mark Sanchez has recieved the first-team reps instead.

Bradford is just nine months removed from a torn ACL, his second in two seasons. He was walking with what was described as a pronounced limp Thursday. Kelly stated that Bradford is on schedule with his rehab and could do some 7-on-7 work next week.

"We've got plenty of time," Kelly added.


Russell Wilson's agent: Contract talks 'encouraging'


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/28/2015) Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has greatly outplayed his rookie contract and the two sides have been working on negotiations for some time. Mark Rodgers, his agent, has a positive outlook on the talks, per The Seattle Times.

“I would characterize our talks as ongoing, fluid, robust at times, thoughtful,” Rodgers said.  “And we’ve made progress. I would characterize them as positive and encouraging.”

Wilson's agent, Mark Rodgers, said that his client is prepared to play this season without a new deal despite the ongoing negotiations.

“There really are no deadlines,’’ Rodgers said. "Financially, we planned long-term for him to play for the $1.5 million dollars (in 2015). So there isn’t any expectation of additional money coming in from the Seattle Seahawks this coming year.’’

Wilson threw for 3,475 yards with 20 touchdowns last season, leading the Seahawks to their second-consecutive Super Bowl appearance.


Healthy QB Tony Romo providing optimism for Cowboys


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) A Tony Romo ahead of the game is a rather scary thought for NFL defenses. But such is the case for the Cowboys quarterback, who for the first time in three years is healthy at this point in the offseason.

In 2013, he was recovering from the removal of cyst. Last year he was battling back from a discectomy. But he's fine now and is performing quite well.

"It's been great," Romo told ESPN. "I think just to be able to kind of have an offseason. You're always rehabbing, but at the same time, I'm kind of able to build during this offseason. It's exciting really."

It's more exciting considering he is coming off his finest year, which featured a league-best completion percentage (69.9) and passer rating (113.2) with 34 touchdowns and just nine interceptions.

In training camp he never practiced more than two straight days, then sat out every Wednesday during the regular season. It remains to be seen if a healthy offseason translates into even better production for the 35-year-old Romo in 2015. The team will be careful in regard to his health.

"Tony's obviously further along," Jason Garrett said. "He didn't have an offseason surgery, so he was able to get a lot more things in our offseason program up to this point. ... You want to make sure you monitor him. ... He's handled everything we've asked him to do to this point really well."


Chargers' Franklin: Rivers more 'approachable' than Manning


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) Chargers offensive lineman Orlando Franklin, in an appearance on NBC Sports Network's Pro Football Talk Live, said Philip Rivers is a more "approachable" quarterback than Peyton Manning

Franklin spent the past four years with the Broncos and has played with Manning the past three seasons. He joined the Chargers this offseason as a free agent. 

“[O]ne thing I noticed immediately when I got here is that Philip Rivers is definitely more approachable than Peyton,” Franklin said. “I don’t know if it was because I was a lot younger being that I met Peyton in my second season and now meeting Phillip going into my fifth season but definitely I will say Phillip is more approachable than Peyton.”


Giants new-look offensive line on display in OTA's


by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(5/28/2015) The Giants have completely remodeled their offensive line unit for the start of organized team activities.

Compared to last year's o-line, only two players are back but even those guys have switched positions and shifted along the line. Justin Pugh has gone from right tackle to left guard and Weston Richburg shifted from left guard to center.

Will Beatty, who was a mainstay at left tackle last season, will miss five to six months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle. Beatty's injury has paved the way for rookie Ereck Flowers to step in at the left tackle position.

Quaterback Eli Manning is still adjusting to all the moving pieces in front of him.

"Obviously, having a new center can be an adjustment," Manning said. "But (Weston) Richburg was here last year and I got snaps with him last year, so that hasn't been a big deal. Anytime you have a rookie at left tackle, it can be an adjustment."

Geoff Schwartz and John Jerry are splitting time at right guard, while Marshall Newhouse has been taking the snaps at right tackle.


Texans' Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett splitting first-team reps


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/28/2015) As expected, Texans quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett split reps with the first-team during Wednesday's OTA practice, according to the Houston Chronicle

Hoyer is no stranger to competing for a starting job after going through the process in Cleveland against Johnny Manziel a year ago. 

“I’ve been through it before,” Hoyer said. “I’m not going to let it affect me and I’ll just be myself and really focus on the things that I can control.”

Hoyer, behind an offensive line that struggled following Alex Mack's season-ending injury, finished 2014 with 3,326 yards, 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Mallett, who suffered a season-ending torn pectoral, appeared in three games for Houston and threw for 400 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. 


Vikings' Bridgewater 'extremely comfortable' with leadership role


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Vikings second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is embracing his role as leader of the offense, the Star Tribune reports.

"I’m a young guy still on the team, but guys are pushing me forward to say something in the huddle, or break the team down, or break the offense down," Bridgewater said. "That just gives you that confidence in yourself, confidence in your leadership and I’ve been extremely comfortable doing that so far."

Coach Mike Zimmer is satsfied with the work Bridgewater has done during the offseason.

"It’s hard to never not be pleased with Teddy because he’s such a hard worker," Zimmer said. "We wanted him to get bigger and stronger; he looks a little bit bigger to me. He’s always worked real hard. The leadership things are starting to come better. I think he’s been doing a good job the two days we’ve been out here against the defense."

Bridgewater made 12 starts in his rookie season and played 13 games in all, racking up 2,919 yards, 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 64.4 percent of his passes.


Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick participates in Wednesday's OTA practice


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) For the first time since suffering a broken leg last season, Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was participating in team drills during Wednesday's OTA practice, reports the Associated Press.

Fitzpatrick is expected to compete with Geno Smith for the starting quarterback role during training camp. However, Coach Todd Bowles said Fitzpatrick still needs to get more healthy and improve the velocity on his throws.


Jets' Bowles on Geno Smith being the starter: 'It's his to lose'


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Jets coach Todd Bowles said quarterback Geno Smith will receive all the first-team reps during OTA practices this week, reports the Associated Press.

"If he's playing well, he's the starter," Bowles said. "It's his [job] to lose."

Although Smith will receive a majority of the snaps with the first team during OTAs, Bowles said that would change during training camp.

"Come camp time, there will be competition at the spot," he said.


Raiders QB Derek Carr (finger) has yet to start throwing


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/26/2015) Raiders quarterback Derek Carr did not participate in any passing drills during Tuesday's OTA practice, according to the Bay Area News Group. 

Carr has an injured right ring finger that he's not contemplating surgery for. He was able to take snaps and make pitches during practice. Though he's missing the reps now, Carr is expected to be back by the start of training camp. 


Browns embattled QB Johnny Manziel gets support from mates


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/26/2015) All is well so far in 2015 for Browns second-year quarterback Johnny Manziel, whose whirlwind career in the NFL seems to be at least for now heading in the right direction.

Manziel received praise Tuesday from several teammates for his work and dedication to improving his skills, something that could certainly not be said a year ago. A stint in rehab appears to have had a positive effect.

"He understands the mistkaes that he's made, so he's taken the proper steps to try to keep himself out of trouble," said safety Donte Whitner, who added that Manziel has been among the first to arrive and the last to leave. "Now he understands how serious it is.

"He'll be all right. ... If you're here in the morning, you see who has those first couple parking spots, you know who was here before everybody else. So he's taken the steps that it takes to be a good quarterback."

Manziel, who had some fine moments in 11-on-11 drills Tuesday, according to Associated Press, also earned some kudos from Mike Pettine, who said he's been "very engaged in meetings" and "more focused."


 
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