NFL notebook: Cowboys still pursuing Seahawks S Thomas

Safety Earl Thomas is still a member of the Legion of Boom with the Seattle Seahawks, but the Dallas Cowboys are still in hot pursuit of the All-Pro.

According to the Dallas Morning News and 105.3 FM in Dallas, the Cowboys did not cease discussions about adding Thomas at the conclusion of the draft on Saturday. Dallas made two trades during the draft -- acquiring wide receiver Tavon Austin from the Los Angeles Rams and shipping slot receiver Ryan Switzer to the Oakland Raiders -- but a deal for Thomas never materialized.

The radio station reports the Cowboys dangled the No. 50 pick but did not hear back from the Seahawks before going on the clock.

The Cowboys gained needed salary-cap space by releasing wide receiver Dez Bryant. Thomas is scheduled to earn $8.5 million in 2018, the final year of his contract. Even if the two sides agree on compensation, an extension would likely need to be worked out before the Cowboys would agree to a trade.

--Cowboys tight end Jason Witten could make more than four times his scheduled 2018 salary by retiring from the NFL to join Disney-owned ESPN to embark on a broadcasting career, according to multiple reports.

Witten met with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Friday to discuss the likelihood that he would be retiring to join ESPN's "Monday Night Football" as a replacement in the booth for Jon Gruden.

According to reports, ESPN offered Witten a salary of up to $4.5 million. His scheduled base salary with the Cowboys in 2018 was to be $1.05 million, with the ability to push his total earnings over $2 million with per-game incentives.

--The Cleveland Browns hoped to trade down from the fourth overall pick in the draft on Thursday but couldn't find a viable partner, general manager John Dorsey told Sports Illustrated's Peter King.

Despite quarterbacks Josh Allen and Josh Rosen remaining available at No. 4, King reported that only one team was willing to offer a first-round pick in order to move up to that slot. What's more, that lone first-round offer came before the draft, and as Dorsey told King, the prospective trade partner told the Browns GM, "I'm coming up for one player and one player only, and that's Baker Mayfield."

With Dorsey set on Mayfield at No. 1, that was a deal-breaker. "I knew all along it wasn't going to happen," Dorsey told King. When the Browns did make their No. 4 pick, they surprised many by taking Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward over North Carolina State edge rusher Bradley Chubb, whom most viewed as the best defensive player in the draft.

--The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' head of team security is investigating a threatening tweet posted Friday night and directed at team general manager Jason Licht, according to multiple reports.

The tweet, which has since been removed, featured an image from a murder scene in the movie "King of New York" with the caption, "When I see Jason Licht the next time I roll through Tampa." The Tampa Bay Times posted a screengrab of the tweet on Monday.

According to the Times' Rick Stroud, the man who posted the tweet under the handle @LuvDemNoles22 identified himself as Mike Rogers, a 38-year-old from Houston who maintains he is a Bucs fan and said he meant no harm by the tweet, calling it "a total exaggeration."

--Washington Redskins team president Bruce Allen has interest in eventually returning to the Raiders to reunite with new Oakland head coach Jon Gruden, according to multiple reports.

Pro Football Talk reports Allen -- who worked with Gruden in Oakland from 1998-2001 and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2004-08 -- would serve in an "executive-type role" focusing primarily on business and without significant input on personnel decisions. Per Bleacher Report, the interest is "mutual," though it's unclear if the reunion will come to fruition.

Allen served as Washington's general manager from 2009 until January 2015, when he took the title of team president after Scot McCloughan was hired to be the GM. McCloughan was fired in March 2017, and the team declined to name a new general manager, leaving Allen to serve as de facto GM while former Washington quarterback Doug Williams was promoted from senior executive to vice president of player personnel.

--A plea hearing in the domestic violence case involving San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster was delayed by the Santa Clara (Calif.) County District Attorney, who requested more time to review purported video evidence involving the alleged victim.

Video evidence came to light last week when the former girlfriend of Foster says she can prove Foster did not cause her injuries in an alleged domestic violence incident.

"Additional evidence was provided to the People that warrants further investigation so that we can take this case to a just result," prosecutor Jim Demertzis said. "There was a video submitted to the People. Out of respect for Mr. Foster's due process rights and for the integrity of the ongoing investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment on the evidence other than in the courtroom."

--Shortly after Los Angeles police reportedly named Raiders offensive lineman Donald Penn a suspect in an alleged domestic violence incident, both Penn and his wife maintained the issue is being blown out of proportion.

According to USA Today's Tom Schad, an LAPD spokesperson said police responded to a report of domestic violence at a home in Encino at approximately 9 p.m. PT Sunday. According to Schad, police said Penn, who turned 35 on Friday, was not home when police arrived and he has not been arrested or charged with a crime.

According to TMZ, Penn allegedly poured a drink on his wife's head and grabbed her by the wrist following a vocal argument. Later Monday, TMZ reported that the couple issued this statement through their representative, Denise White: "There was a verbal disagreement, there was NO physical altercation. The two are in the middle of a divorce and it is a hard time for both parties."

--The New York Giants explored trading offensive tackle Ereck Flowers during the draft over the weekend but could not find a suitable deal, according to an ESPN report.

Per the report, the Giants wanted a mid-round pick in return but were unable to reach an agreement. Reports emerged last week that Flowers was expected to be traded for draft-pick compensation.

Flowers, who turned 24 on Wednesday, will compete for the starting job at right tackle after New York signed left tackle Nate Solder to a record-breaking contract in free agency. Flowers is one of the few players who did not show up for the team's voluntary offseason conditioning program earlier this month, training in Miami instead.

--The Philadelphia Eagles picked up wide receiver Nelson Agholor's fifth-year option, keeping him under contract through 2019.

Agholor, who turns 25 in May, is set to make $1.7 million in 2018, the fourth year of his rookie deal. His 2019 option, which is guaranteed for injury only, will be worth around $9.4 million in 2019.

The 20th overall pick in the 2015 draft, Agholor struggled through his first two seasons, totaling 59 catches for 648 yards and three touchdowns from 2015-16. However, he broke out for 62 grabs, 768 yards and eight scores in 2017, adding nine catches for 84 yards in the team's Super Bowl LII victory over the New England Patriots.

--The Minnesota Vikings exercised the fifth-year option on cornerback Trae Waynes' rookie contract.

Waynes signed a four-year, $12.9 million contract after being selected with the 11th pick in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He will earn $2.2 million in base salary in 2018, when he will count $4.12 million against the salary cap. The fifth-year option, which is guaranteed for injury only, is worth $9,069,000 in 2019, according to The Vikings had until Thursday to exercise the option.

Waynes has appeared in 46 career games with 25 starts, including starting all 16 regular-season games for the first time last season when he finished with 72 tackles. He has also started two of three postseason games.

--The Vikings announced that they re-signed veteran cornerback Terence Newman.

Newman, who turns 40 on Sept. 4, began his NFL career in 2003 and will be playing in his 16th season.

Newman has played in 221 regular-season games, and his 42 career interceptions are the most of any player currently on an NFL roster. Unsigned DeAngelo Hall has 43. Newman has five interceptions in three seasons with the Vikings. He also has played for the Dallas Cowboys (2003-11) and Cincinnati Bengals (2012-14).

--The Browns exercised the fifth-year option on safety Damarious Randall's rookie contract, less than two months after acquiring him.

Randall was part of the March 9 trade that sent quarterback DeShone Kizer to the Green Bay Packers. Drafted 30th overall by Green Bay in 2015, he started 30 games for the Packers, primarily as a cornerback.

Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said the Browns plan to play Randall at safety. The value of Randall's fifth-year option for 2019, which is guaranteed for injury only, is determined by the average of the third through 25th highest salaries at his position. That figure currently sits at more than $9 million among cornerbacks but under $6.3 million for safeties, but it is currently unclear which category Randall will fall under.

--The San Francisco 49ers picked up defensive lineman Arik Armstead's fifth-year option, keeping him under contract through 2019.

Armstead, 24, is scheduled to make just under $1.8 million in 2018, the fourth year of his rookie deal. The fifth-year option, which is guaranteed for injury only, will pay him a little over $9 million in 2019.

The 17th overall pick in 2015, Armstead missed the final 10 games of 2017 after requiring surgery to repair a broken left hand. He sat out eight games in 2016 while battling a shoulder injury after playing in all 16 contests as a rookie. Through three seasons, he has 50 tackles and 6.0 sacks across 28 games (11 starts).

--The Houston Texans picked up the fifth-year option of cornerback Kevin Johnson.

Johnson, 25, is set to make $1.8 million in 2018, the fourth year of his rookie deal. The fifth-year option, which is guaranteed for injury only, will be worth a little over $9 million in 2019.

The 16th overall pick in 2015, Johnson has been limited to 18 games (seven starts) over the last two seasons while battling injuries, after playing in all 16 games (10 starts) as a rookie. Through three seasons, he has one interception and 14 passes defensed, along with 124 tackles.

--The Texans began reshaping their personnel department with the dismissal of seven staffers, including assistant general manager Jimmy Raye III, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Others who were let go, per the Chronicle, include director of college scouting Jon Carr, assistant director of college scouting Mike Martin, college scouting coordinator Matt Jansen, college scout Seth Turner, administrative assistant Lisa Andrzejewski and scouting intern Rory Pommerening. All seven were hired by former Texans GM Rick Smith, who took an extended leave of absence at the end of the 2017 season to spend more time with his wife as she battles breast cancer.

Brian Gaine, who was with the Texans from 2014-16 before joining the Buffalo Bills in 2017, replaced Smith as general manager in mid-January. With the NFL draft marking the typical end of the "season" for scouting and personnel staff, Gaine was expected to make changes afterward, but it was previously unclear how extensive the changes would be.

--The Redskins released defensive tackle Terrell McClain, according to multiple reports, after selecting two defensive tackles in last week's draft.

Washington signed McClain to a four-year, $21 million deal last offseason, but he had just 20 tackles and two sacks in 12 games in 2017.

The Redskins were expected to upgrade at the position and did so by picking Alabama's Da'Ron Payne with the 13th overall pick. But then Washington also selected Virginia Tech's Tim Settle in the fifth round, apparently sealing McClain's fate.

--The Browns signed Joel Stave, adding a fourth quarterback to the roster just days after selecting Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

Stave and Mayfield join Tyrod Taylor, who was acquired from the Buffalo Bills at the start of free agency, and veteran backup Drew Stanton as quarterbacks added by Dorsey in the past six weeks.

--The Green Bay Packers announced they released backup quarterback Joe Callahan.

Callahan spent the past two seasons with the Packers and played in one game. He completed 5 of 7 passes for 11 yards in the 2017 season finale against the Detroit Lions.

Callahan became expendable after the team traded for Kizer during the offseason and signed undrafted free agent Tim Boyle of Eastern Kentucky after the draft.

--Field Level Media