The news was first reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Charean Williams.
Cowboys have signed La'el Collins, according to a source.
Collins was projected to be a first-round pick in last week's draft but was sent home from Chicago after word got out that police wanted to speak with him about the murder of Brittney Mills, a woman believed to be Collins' ex-girlfriend.
Instead, Collins went undrafted — with NFL teams unsure of his potential involvement in the case and Collins' agents saying he would not sign with a team if he was taken after the third round — and remained in limbo. He spoke with police and has not been named a suspect, or even a person of interest, in the case. Also, a paternity test determined that Collins was not the father of Mills' baby.
Mills was shot and killed at her home on April 24. The baby lived for a few days before dying on May 1.
Collins' deal with the Cowboys, per ESPN's Adam Schefter, is fully guaranteed.
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We admit, we miss the draft just a tiny bit.
We spent months grinding our gears trying to watch players, talk about them, dissect them like a sixth-grade science frog and then figure out where they belong. And then the draft comes and goes.
Luckily, we're sick and twisted and already thinking of the next one.
We're sure that the 2016 NFL draft class could be a special one, far better than the decent but hardly memorable crop of talent we just saw enter the NFL draft ranks.
Why? There are a few more bankable QB talents, plus some top-tier defensive players and offensive tackles who could really boost next year's first round to a different level.
With that in mind, here's a (way too) early look at the top 25 prospects heading into the 2015 college football season:
1. Ohio State DE Joey Bosa — It's possible that one of said quarterbacks could overtake this spot. But for now, we'll go with the best front-seven player in the country, a Justin Smith clone who feels destined to land somewhere in the top five picks if he declares early. Yes, he'll be only a junior this year.
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Tom Brady Sr., talking to USA Today Sports, said the NFL backed itself into a corner with the drawn-out deflate-gate investigation and felt it had to justify such excess and come down hard on his son.
"The league had to cover themselves," Brady Sr. said. "The reality is they had no conclusive evidence.
"This was Framegate right from the beginning."
Brady Sr. believes his son is innocent in the case and his faith in him remains undeterred, even though the Wells report — perhaps more damning than the delfating claims themselves — essentially calls Brady a bald-faced liar.
"I don't have any doubt about my son's integrity — not one bit," Brady Sr. said. "In this country, you're innocent until proven guilty. It just seems Tommy is now guilty until proven innocent."
Brady Sr., like Kraft, points to the report's lack of hard, unequivocal evidence implicating the quarterback.
"I'm watching the NFL Network saying he could be fined and suspended. Are you kidding me?"
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft demanded an apology from the league before the Super Bowl if there were no findings in the deflate-gate case, and he's not backing down following the somewhat damning release of the Ted Wells investigation report.
Kraft issued a statement that laid waste to Wells' presentation, essentially asking where the hard evidence is:
“When I addressed the media at the Super Bowl on January 26 — over 14 weeks ago — I stated that I unconditionally believed that the New England Patriots had done nothing inappropriate in this process or in violation of the NFL rules and that I was disappointed in the way the league handled the initial investigation. That sentiment has not changed.
Kraft clearly feels wronged here, even though he and head coach Bill Belichick were exonerated in any knowing wrongdoing. But that doesn’t appear to be enough for the Patriots owner.
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The biggest knock on Breshad Perriman in college was dropping passes. But his first foul as an NFL draft pick was a dropped phone call.
The first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens has a chance to be an impact player right away, filling the deep-threat role of Torrey Smith, who left for the San Francisco 49ers via free agency.
But Perriman needs to earn some trust first, and he got off to an inauspicious start with his new team. He had just jumped on the phone with the man who called in the pick, GM Ozzie Newsome, and then his new head coach, John Harbaugh, when Perriman suffered his first drop of his pro career.
"Hey, congratulations!" Harbaugh said to his new receiver, apparently hearing nada on the other end. "Breshad? We got hung up on."
It could have been anything, but the Ravens — and certainly Joe Flacco — wants this to be the last "bad connection" excuse with his speedy new pass catcher.
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Many people have wondered if the St. Louis Rams are going to become (again) the Los Angeles Rams, and there has been a lot of smoke to that potential fire.
The NFL — inadvertantly, perhaps — has tossed a little gas on this chatter.
If you typed this into your browser Monday morning:
You would have gotten this:
Yes, that's a legit web page, and it legitimately says "Los Angeles Rams" with the specs and stats from the current St. Louis club, in case you thought somehow there was a dead LA page of yore still living.
(UPDATE: The NFL has since taken the link down, referring it back to the NFL.com homepage. However, http://www.nfl.com/teams/St.%20Louis%20Rams/profile?team=la still points to the same page as of 5:30 p.m. ET.)
And before you assume that this is just an honest or quirky mistake, think about it: Someone on the web team had to develop this page with the "LA" suffix. For instance, when I type in "AND" for my hometown of Andover, Mass., I get nada. (Actually, it reverts back to the index page for the NFL teams.)
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The 2015 NFL draft grades are in. Not all of them are As, we're sorry to say.
Yes, we at the Shutdown Corner have been studying up on our NFL draft nuggets for months now, and with more than 24 hours of lag time — totally ample! — to soak up what all 32 teams accomplished this past weekend, we’ve assigned iron-clad, definitive, no-questions-asked judgments on all of them. It feels good to be so decisive and unyielding.
Not buying this process? [Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football is back: Sign up for a league today!] A look back at last year’s draft grades reveals some cringe-worthy moments (to wit: I panned the Seattle Seahawks’ pick of Justin Britt, an 18-game rookie starter, and praised their selection of Kevin Norwood, an overaged bystander with nine catches in Year 1.)
I had no idea how prescient I'd be.
Cardona, who is considered one of the best long-snapping prospects in a few years (I have no idea how people judge that), was taken with the 166th pick in the 2015 draft.
It made perfect sense.
Patriots need a long snapper. They've tried out and used a few the past few seasons.
And Cardona is a Navy guy. Bill Belichick grew up learning football at Navy when his father was a coach and scout there. He's always had a soft spot for Midshipmen.
Now Belichick has another one. It's too easy.
Believe it or not, Cardona is not the highest-drafted long snapper ever. Ryan Pontbriand was at No. 142 overall by the Cleveland Browns back in 2003, although he was also a center. Actually, Jared Allen was also a fourth-round pick and was projected first as a long snapper, then as a pass rusher. The second skill turned out to be a hair better.
But when Belichick brings in Navy guys, they're typically undrafted. In fact, Cardona became the first from the school to be taken in 20 years — the last was sixth-round tight end Kevin Hickman (by the Detroit Lions in 1995), who never caught a pass in 13 career games.
Long snappers are people, too.
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The biggest reason: a knee that some NFL team doctors believe might not hold up long in the NFL. A few weeks ago, reports surfaced that his knee was essentially bone on bone despite being able to play — and play every game — the past three seasons.
Could Ajayi be the next Cadillac Williams — an energetic, feisty, powerful runner with awareness and instincts who never can stay healthy? That's what some teams feared, which precipitated his fall to the 149th pick, where the Miami Dolphins took a gamble on potential greatness.
It's not a stretch to say that Ajayi has some Marshawn Lynch-like capabilities, but it is a real projection to say that Ajayi is going to have anywhere near the longevity that Lynch has. If healthy, Ajayi could be a great power complement to Lamar Miller in the Dolphins backfield and give Ryan Tannehill an underrated receiving outlet who had 50 catches and four TDs last season.
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No, Bryce Petty is not the savior for this season. But the New York Jets' fourth-round pick, who is used to waiting his turn, is a name to watch for 2016.
This is the theme of the Jets' offseason: It's on you, Geno Smith.
They traded for Brandon Marshall and drafted speed ball Devin Smith. They added an offensive lineman and a running back. The defense might be one of the most talented units in the league, capable of winning 10 games with average QB play. If Smith can't make it happen now in New York, he never will.
Petty will be handled differently with the Jets than Smith was when he came in. Smith was forced into the lineup too early, still needing time to adjust from a gimmicky college offense but not adequately getting it. Petty, who first called a play in the huddle and ran snaps from under center this winter (as in, not in games), should not see the field in meaningful time this season.
Will Petty be a hit? No one knows. There was a ton of debate — some loved him, others did not — in the scouting community. But he's not a bad risk at this point in the draft, with talk of him perhaps going as high as a pick in the 30s.
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