Notebook: Barkley's agent refutes report of demand

By The Sports Xchange  |  April 18, 2018 at 7:49 PM
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Saquon Barkley's agent denied a report in Sports Illustrated on Wednesday that the Penn State running back would make like Eli Manning and demand the Cleveland Browns not draft him.

Manning, the New York Giants' quarterback, told the San Diego Chargers not to select him with the No. 1 pick of the 2004 draft. When they did, he said he would not play for them, so they traded him to the Giants.

When asked if the report were true that Roc Nation, the management firm Barkley has signed with, advised his client to tell the Browns not to draft him, Miale said: "No."

Sports Illustrated, which claimed in a profile on Barkley that Roc Nation made the request that the Browns not draft him, stood by its reporting.

--New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reportedly has yet to committed to playing in the 2018 season.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, multiple sources feel that Brady will indeed return for the upcoming campaign.

With Brady mum on the topic, questions have been raised if he is moving closer toward retirement.

Brian Hoyer remains the only other quarterback on the roster heading into next week's draft. He signed a three-year deal the team after the trade deadline last season.

Brady, who will turn 41 in August, received NFL MVP honors for the third time in his career last season, although the lure of spending more time with family is there, sources told ESPN.

--Brandon Marshall isn't embracing the notion of fellow wide receiver Dez Bryant joining the New York Giants.

Marshall, in fact, took to social media to voice his displeasure with Bryant's comments about possibly suiting up for the Giants.

"Sorry baby bro no room," Marshall posted on Instagram along with a screenshot of Bryant's comments. Marshall has since deleted the comment.

Bryant, who was released by the Cowboys last week, was asked about possibly joining the Giants during an interview with Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.

"The Giants," Bryant said, "got a (heck) of a defense, they're going to pay OBJ (Odell Beckham Jr.), so coming back. Playing with him, Sterling (Shepard), the tight end (Evan Engram), (quarterback Eli) Manning? Crazy. ... draft (Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick)? That'd be crazy!"

--Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and several players responded with surprise after wide receiver Dez Bryant claimed Monday that several Cowboys players and coaches were responsible for getting him released.

"Dez Bryant has been a great player for this franchise during his time here," Garrett said Tuesday at the Albertsons Companies All-Star Gala, according to ESPN.com. "Certainly a playmaker, a difference-maker. A guy that we all love. Love him as a player, as a person and that will never change.

"It's a challenging situation. A lot of different factors go into these kinds of decisions and again the guidepost for all of this is: What's in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys? And that's why we made this decision. Wish Dez nothing but the best going forward. He's a special guy. I love him. I will always love him and the impact that he's made on this franchise has been significant."

--Joe Flacco insists he's not worried if the Baltimore Ravens elect to select a quarterback in the NFL draft.

"It is what it is. It's a business," Flacco said. "Eventually, at some point, that's going to have to happen. It's not really for me to worry about."

Flacco, who was hampered by a back injury last season, completed 64.1 percent of 352 passes for 3,141 yards. The 33-year-old had a career-low 5.7 yard-per- attempt average with 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

Baltimore owns the 16th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, which will be held on April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

--The Houston Texas are making adjustments to their offense and quarterback Deshaun Watson is coming back from an injury, but that mean the versatile Watson will change the duality of his game.

Watson, who sustained a torn right ACL after starting six games last season as a rookie, said he won't be afraid to take off running despite the injury.

"My game's not changing," Watson told Sarah Barshop of ESPN. "Whatever you (saw) last year is going to be the same, if not better. I've dealt with adversity before, had injuries before. I didn't let that slow me down. It just changed my attitude about the game."

Coach Bill O'Brien is making adjustments to the Texans' offense, but has said that doesn't mean he wants Watson to curtail his running.

--The Miami Dolphins will have players from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas football team announce some of their picks in the 2018 NFL Draft next week.

The Palm Beach Post reported Wednesday that students from the Parkland (Fla.) high school will announce the picks on Saturday, April 28 -- the final day of the draft.

The players will be joined by the family of Marjory Stoneman Douglas assistant football coach Aaron Feis, who was one of the 17 people killed in a shooting at the school in February.

--The Tennessee Titans plan to pick up the fifth-year option on quarterback Marcus Mariota for the 2019 season, general manager Jon Robinson told Paul Kuharsky of 104.5 The Zone on Wednesday.

The option is guaranteed against injury only for Mariota, who was the second overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. The former Heisman Trophy winner is expected to receive $20.922 million for the 2019 season, as opposed to $3.73 million in 2018.

The deadline for teams to declare the fifth-year option for players in that draft class is May 3.

--The Denver Broncos added $3 million in incentives to the contract of cornerback Chris Harris, ESPN's Field Yates reported.

Per ESPN, the incentives are linked to playing time, team wins, a possible All-Pro selection and interceptions.

The available money, per the report, stems from the Broncos trading cornerback Aqib Talib to the Los Angeles Rams last month.

Talib, who signed a six-year, $57 million deal with the Broncos in 2014, made the Pro Bowl in all four seasons with Denver and leads all active cornerbacks in interceptions (34) since he entered the league in 2008.

--Wide receiver/kick returner Devin Hester and running back Matt Forte will sign one-day contracts with the Chicago Bears next Monday so they can retire as members of the organization in which they each spent the first eight seasons of their NFL careers.

Hester, who was drafted by the Bears in the second round in 2006 out of Miami (Fla.), recorded five return touchdowns (three on punts, two on kickoffs) as a rookie, both Bears records.

Over the course of his 11-year career with the Bears, Atlanta Falcons (2014-15) and Baltimore Ravens (2016), he totaled 20 return touchdowns (14 punts, five kickoffs, one on a missed field goal), the most in NFL history.

Forte, who also was selected by the Bears in the second round after playing at Tulane, played in Chicago through the 2015 season. He rushed for 1,238 yards and caught 63 passes as a rookie.

In eight seasons with the Bears, Forte rushed for 8,602 yards and 45 touchdowns while adding 4,116 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.

--Tight end Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots has purchased a minority stake in a racehorse that is named Gronk, after him, and will run in the Kentucky Derby.

Terms of Gronkowski's deal were not announced, although Phoenix Thoroughbreds, a global horse racing investment fund, bought the horse for more than $400,000 in England last year.

Trainer Jeremy Noseda's family are Patriots fans, so they named the horse after Gronkowski.

--The NFL announced that the 256-game regular-season scheduled will be released on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET.

The two-hour show will air on NFL Network.

The announcement comes after last week's unveiling of the 65-game slate for the upcoming preseason. The Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens kick off that schedule with the Hall of Fame Game on Thursday, Aug. 2.

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