Philadelphia Eagles

Howie Roseman: 'Doesn't serve us any purpose' to say if Joe Mixon is on our draft board

Howie Roseman: 'Doesn't serve us any purpose' to say if Joe Mixon is on our draft board

There was an interesting exchange about halfway through Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas' pre-draft media session Thursday morning.
 
Well after both had already been asked about how teams evaluate draft prospects with character concerns, Douglas was asked about Joe Mixon, taking the off-the-field concerns out of the picture.
 
Douglas, who doesn't ever seem to be very boisterous, lowered his tone to an almost whisper while talking about the prospect, who once punched a woman in the face. 
 
"A lot of people feel that he is one of the top backs in this draft, so if you take character out of the equation, physically, a very gifted player," Douglas said. "But … most teams aren't doing that."
 
That's when Roseman, the more seasoned of the two in dealing with the media, interjected with lavish praise for Mixon as a football player.
 
"Yeah, I think you talk about the things you look for in a three-down back, there's not much he can't do," Roseman said. "He's incredible with the ball in his hands, you can split him out, he's got really good hands, he can pass protect, he can make people miss. He's an extremely talented guy. But everyone we talk about, the total package comes into the equation."
 
So what does that brief exchange mean?
 
Well, we hear plenty of talk about "smokescreens" around this time of year and a press conference exactly a week before the start of the draft is a perfect example. It would be foolish to take everything the duo said Thursday on its face. After all, they certainly don't want to telegraph their thoughts to the rest of the league.

But how do we read into this exchange? One point of view is this: Roseman simply wants to continue to the conversation about Mixon's being a possibility for the Eagles. The other: Roseman wants to prepare folks for the possibility of Mixon's becoming an Eagle.
 
Both thought processes have some merit and, sorry to disappoint, there's no correct answer.
 
If you believe draft pundits, Mixon, it seems, will be drafted sometime in the second round next Friday. The Eagles hold the 11th pick in the second round (43rd overall).
 
For what it's worth (not a lot), Roseman was asked directly if Mixon is still on the Eagles' board.
 
"It doesn't serve us any purpose to talk about particular guys and whether they're on our board or not," he answered. 
 
The Eagles have said over and over that they judge each player on an individual basis. They don't have non-starters for things like domestic abuse that would take a player off their board at the onset. Some teams do. Instead, the Eagles choose to do their own research, getting to know the player and weighing the positives and negatives.
 
The most obvious example of the Eagles' bringing in a player despite character concerns came in 2009 when the team signed Mike Vick.
 
"I think Mike, where he was and where we were was unique," Roseman said. "And Mike had a tremendous support system, which is important to all these players we're talking about. Who's their support system? Who are they going to, to ask advice? When you met Mike and you saw how Mike dealt with people, he had an amazing ability to connect with people, not only on the field and off the field. He could tell his story and speak about his story and try to help others. I think that was a lot of the parts that attracted us to Mike, how much together he was and had learned from his past mistakes."
 
In addition to the situations with the two individuals -- Vick and Mixon -- being very different, there are also several differences between the state of the organization.
 
Back in 2009, the Eagles had an established head coach in Andy Reid and an established group of leaders, including a quarterback. The team had also made it to a conference championship the year before.
 
While Roseman praised the leadership of Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz, they're still in their second years and the team is coming off a 7-9 season.
 
"Each case, you have to judge individually," Roseman said. "You gotta do your research, you gotta go through the whole process. We talked about having an unbelievable security team led by Dom (DiSandro). And so we get all the information and we make the decision."

NFL Notes: Supporters hold rally for Colin Kaepernick at NFL headquarters

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AP Images

NFL Notes: Supporters hold rally for Colin Kaepernick at NFL headquarters

NEW YORK -- Supporters of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem to protest police brutality against blacks, showed their solidarity with him and his cause at a rally outside the headquarters of the National Football League on Wednesday.

More than 1,000 people, many wearing jerseys bearing Kaepernick's name, crowded the steps outside the NFL's midtown Manhattan offices.

Kaepernick, who once took the 49ers to the Super Bowl, opted out of his contract with the team in March and remains unsigned. Supporters say he is being blackballed for his advocacy, but some critics say he should not have sat or kneeled during the anthem or contend his lack of a job is more about his on-field talent.

Chants at the demonstration included "Boycott! Boycott!" Women's March organizer Tamika Mallory, addressing football fans, said, "I don't care how long you've been watching football, if they don't stand up for your children, turn the damn TV off."

Political commentator Symone Sanders said, "We are all standing with Kaepernick. It is time for the NFL to put up or shut up" (see full story).

Browns: Kizer to start at QB in 3rd preseason game
BEREA, Ohio -- Rookie DeShone Kizer is Cleveland's new starting quarterback.

Coach Hue Jackson has elected to go with Kizer, a second-round pick from Notre Dame, over veterans Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler. Kizer has been the most consistent of the three during training camp and led the Browns to three touchdowns during his two exhibition appearances.

Jackson said Kizer will start Saturday's exhibition in Tamp Bay and "is certainly positioning himself well to earn the starting job heading into the regular season."

The Browns open the season on Sept. 10 against Pittsburgh.

Unless he stumbles against the Buccaneers, Kizer will be the 27th different quarterback to start for the Browns since 1999. The big-armed 21-year-old has shown no signs of being intimidated by the jump to the pros after making 23 starts in two seasons for the Fighting Irish (see full story).

Raiders: Pro Bowl LT Penn ends holdout
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Pro Bowl left tackle Donald Penn has ended his holdout with the Oakland Raiders.

Penn reported for practice on Wednesday, ending his 26-day holdout. Penn was looking for an improved contract but general manager Reggie McKenzie said earlier in training camp that he would not negotiate a new deal with Penn until he arrived at camp.

The Raiders could have fined Penn $40,000 for each day of camp he missed but the team is not expected to do that.

Penn is entering the final year of an $11.9 million, two-year contract. He is scheduled to earn $5.8 million in base salary this season with another $1.3 million in incentives and bonuses (see full recap).

Steelers: Star RB Bell hints at return date
PITTSBURGH -- Steelers star Le'Veon Bell has suggested on Twitter that he will return to the team on Sept. 1, the day after Pittsburgh's final preseason game.

Bell hasn't signed his franchise tender and has been holding out through training camp. Responding to a fan Tuesday night asking when he plans to end his holdout, Bell wrote: "9-1-17" and added a wink.

The franchise tender offered Bell will guarantee him $12.1 million for the upcoming season. The two-time Pro Bowl running back has been seeking a long-term deal.

Bell rushed for 1,268 yards and seven touchdowns last season and also caught 75 passes for 616 yards and two TDs.

Redskins: Reed makes on-field debut at practice
ASHBURN, Va. -- Jordan Reed is back at practice with the Washington Redskins.

The 27-year-old tight end made his on-field debut Wednesday after missing almost the first month of practices with a toe injury. Reed missed the team's first two preseason games and was activated off the physically unable to perform list on Sunday.

Reed was examined by a foot specialist Aug. 1 and recently started using wider shoes and orthotics to help alleviate the soreness in the big toe on his left foot. Last week he said it felt better when running routes and walking around and doesn't expect the injury to affect him during the season.

One of quarterback Kirk Cousins' most consistent and effective targets, Reed had 66 catches for 686 yards and six touchdowns last season despite missing four games with injury (see full story).

Giants: OL Bowie waived after domestic charges disclosed 
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants have waived Michael Bowie days after finding out that the offensive lineman had been charged with assault and battery in Oklahoma.

The Giants announced the decision Wednesday along with three moves.

The team learned of the charges on Saturday and did not allow the 25-year-old free agent to make the trip to Cleveland for a preseason game against the Browns on Monday night.

Bowie is accused of grabbing his girlfriend by the neck during a fight at her home in Bixby, Oklahoma, then broke two televisions and punched a hole in the wall.

Court records don't list an attorney for Bowie, a Tulsa resident. His agent says Bowie is working to prove his innocence, saying there was no physical contact with the girlfriend.

New York also waived offensive linemen Corin Brooks, and waived/injured wideouts Darius Powe and Andrew Turzilli (see full story).

Former Eagles special teamer Bryan Braman heading to Saints

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USA Today Images

Former Eagles special teamer Bryan Braman heading to Saints

Former Eagles special teamer Bryan Braman has agreed to terms to join the New Orleans Saints on a one-year deal, according to his agent Sean Stellato. 

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport first reported the deal. 

Braman, 30, spent the last three seasons with the Eagles and played a major role on Dave Fipp's unit, which has been considered one of the top in the NFL during that span. He had been a free agent throughout the spring and summer after his contract ran out with the Eagles. 

Braman came to Philadelphia as a free agent from the Texans before the 2014 season on a two-year deal and later restructured his contract to take a pay cut and give him an extra year in Philly. 

While Braman rarely made it on the field for the defense in those next three seasons, he played a total of 1,214 special teams snaps, the most of any player on the team. He played in all 48 games over the last three seasons. 

Even without Braman, the Eagles still have plenty of key special teams players like Chris Maragos, Najee Goode and Kamu Grugier-Hill.