NFL Notes: Cowboys rookie WR Ryan Switzer finds mentor in Dez Bryant

NFL Notes: Cowboys rookie WR Ryan Switzer finds mentor in Dez Bryant

FRISCO, Texas -- Ryan Switzer exchanged a high-five with Dez Bryant, then two more, followed by a shoulder bump and a couple of dance moves with his celebrated Dallas teammate.

The rookie receiver isn't a typical fourth-round pick cloaked in anonymity. The 5-foot-8 speedster ran with the starters during offseason practices and he cooked up an elaborate handshake with Bryant, who wasn't the only Cowboys veteran to notice.

"Switz, man, that guy, he's the real deal. I love little Switz," Bryant said. "The way that he just loves being around this locker room and these guys, it was meant for him. Dallas was meant for him."

Switzer is almost a replica of teammate Cole Beasley, a slot receiver whose stature with the team has grown steadily over five seasons. But it's been Bryant who has taken the youngster under his wing. With Beasley and Lucky Whitehead sidelined with hamstring injuries, Switzer shared the field with Bryant frequently during the offseason, which wrapped up with minicamp last week.

"I think the love for the game is really what's hitting it off between us," Switzer said. "We're both very passionate about the game of football and what this game has done for us. It's been like that for everyone, especially the receiver room. Everyone enjoys what they do, and that's why it's such a close-knit group."

Lions: WR Golladay signs rookie contract
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The Detroit Lions have all of their draft picks under contract now that third-round selection Kenny Golladay signed Monday.

The wide receiver was the only Detroit draft pick who didn't sign before the team's rookie minicamp last month.

The 6-foot-4, 213-pound Northern Illinois standout has an opportunity to be the Lions' No. 3 receiver this season behind Golden Tate and Marvin Jones.

NFL: Bettis says league’s been cagey on concussions
JERUSALEM -- Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis says the NFL has taken advantage of its players by not sharing with them all the information it had about the risk of concussions.

After viewing an innovation expo in Jerusalem that included a presentation from ElMindA, an Israeli neuro-technology company that can help the NFL diagnose concussions, Bettis said Monday that he was encouraged by the progress but still perplexed about how transparent the league has been over the years.

"The problem is we don't necessarily know all the things the league is doing. For instance, working with this company here, you don't know if they are working with them closely to try to help solve the problem," Bettis said. "You definitely feel as though you were taken advantage of in a way that you weren't given that information, and you always want to have the choice of knowing, and when that is taken away from you, you feel as though you were taken advantage of."

Bettis, the NFL's sixth all-time leading rusher, said he suffered concussions during his 13-year career, adding, "I don't think you'll find many guys that had a long career, played 10-plus years, that didn't have a concussion."

After years of denials, the NFL eventually acknowledged the link between repeated blows to the head during football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE. The issue also garnered wide attention following the 2015 Will Smith film "Concussion" (see full story).

Packers: Fan sues Bears over gear on sideline
CHICAGO -- A Green Bay fan is making a federal case out of a dispute with the Chicago Bears, filing a lawsuit accusing the rival team of violating his free-speech rights by prohibiting him from wearing Packers apparel at Bears' pregame warmups.

Russell Beckman of Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, filed the 10-page lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Chicago on Friday seeking a court order lifting the ban.

An email Beckman sent to Bears executives that he included in his court filing last week accuses the team of creating "segregated safe spaces for Bears fans" by banishing Packers gear.

"Stop coddling them," he wrote.

The filing includes a photograph of the lifelong Green Bay fan in a green-and-yellow Packers jersey and with his beard dyed green. Beckman lives just across the Illinois state line -- an hour drive north of Chicago -- and holds Bears season tickets, the lawsuit says.

The suit's focus is a Bears rewards program that lets season-ticket holders stand along the sidelines during certain pregame warmups at Soldier Field, something Beckman says he did in 2014 and 2015 in Packers apparel.

The Bears sent him an email before a December Bears-Packers game warning in capital letters, "NO OPPOSING TEAM GEAR WILL BE ALLOWED," according to the lawsuit. He went in Packers apparel anyway and was turned away.

Former Eagle, current Cowboy CB Nolan Carroll arrested for DWI

Former Eagle, current Cowboy CB Nolan Carroll arrested for DWI

Former Eagles cornerback and current Cowboy Nolan Carroll was arrested for a DWI early Monday morning in Dallas, according to The Dallas Morning News.

Carroll was pulled over by a police officer around 2:20 a.m. for a traffic violation. He was arrested for a suspension of driving while intoxicated.

Carroll was released on bond Monday afternoon.

The 30-year-old played in 43 games for the Eagles over the course of three seasons, intercepting three passes during that span and returning one for a touchdown in 2015.

The Cowboys signed Carroll to a three-year deal worth $10 million this offseason.

NFL Notes: Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott sits out OTAs after minor car crash

NFL Notes: Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott sits out OTAs after minor car crash

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was a passenger in a minor car accident and is missing the first three offseason practices as a precaution.

Elliott, the 2016 NFL rushing champion as a rookie, bumped his head in the crash Sunday night, but running backs coach Gary Brown said Wednesday that Elliott doesn't have a concussion.

Coach Jason Garrett said Elliott would miss the third practice of the week Thursday after sitting the first two sessions with soreness and neck stiffness. Garrett said Elliott was expected to practice next week.

Elliott, who made the All-Pro team after Dallas drafted him No. 4 overall last year, finished with 1,631 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns, both club rookie records.

Redskins: Cousins expects negotiations to go to deadline
ASHBURN, Va. -- Kirk Cousins is getting valuable snaps on the practice field going into his third season as a starter. The Washington Redskins quarterback is also getting just as many chances to answer questions about a long-term contract.

Cousins is facing the prospect of playing a second consecutive season on the franchise tag with a July 15 deadline looming for he and the Redskins to agree on a deal. With less than two months until the deadline, he doesn't seem concerned and doesn't expect anything to happen until the calendar flips to July.

"Deadlines do deals," Cousins said Wednesday after the team's second session of organized team activities. "That's just kind of a rule in negotiating, so why would something happen way before a deadline? It just doesn't make sense. I'm not in a hurry, they're not in a hurry, so we'll just see how things go. I'm being patient."

Cousins said July 15 will be a "telling date" as it was last summer when there was no deal done and he was locked into playing on the franchise tag . After breaking his own franchise record with 4,917 passing yards while making just under $20 million last season, the Michigan State product would make about $24 million this year if he doesn't get a long-term contract.

Cousins one-year salary would be the second-highest of any NFL QB, behind only Cam Newton. But a multi-year agreement would speak volumes about what the organization thinks of the 28-year-old Cousins. Team president Bruce Allen said Monday there is a "constant dialogue" with agent Mike McCartney and that the July 15 deadline would be the driver toward a deal.

Cousins described the talks as "positive," and Allen said he was still optimistic about getting a deal done (see full story).

Browns: Top pick Garrett sits out with a ‘little nick’
BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns are not taking any chances with Myles Garrett, their No. 1 draft pick and $30 million investment.

Garrett is being kept off the practice field by the team this week because of an unspecified injury. The former Texas A&M star would not disclose his medical issue on Wednesday, but said it's nothing significant.

"They just wanted to be cautious about a little nick," Garrett said. "But I'll be back out there next week. I want to be out there. They're holding me right now. But I'll be out there full tilt next week."

Garrett signed a four-year, $30 million contract last week and the Browns aren't taking any chances with their prized first selection. Coach Hue Jackson indicated Garrett might be dealing with something following last week's rookie minicamp, but he didn't reveal Garrett's problem.

"He'll be fine," Jackson said. "Obviously I'm just going to very cautious with guys. Anytime guys have a little soreness, I want to make sure we're totally healthy. I think when we had the rookie minicamp there was a little soreness. I just wanted to make sure that was out before we stuck him out there again" (see full story).

Vikings: Bridgewater recovery still uncertain despite progress
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Teddy Bridgewater has reached the point in rehabilitation where he's able to drop back to pass on his surgically repaired left knee.

Just when the 24-year-old quarterback might return to live action with the Minnesota Vikings remains largely unknown.

"Just hoping that eventually he'll be able to come back on the field, but that's still the unknown," said general manager Rick Spielman, who clarified Wednesday that Bridgewater has not been given the green light for full practice.

That's predictable, considering he's less than nine months removed from the dislocation, torn ACL and other ligament damage that occurred to his knee during a non-contact drill .

But the Vikings raised some optimism about Bridgewater's recovery Tuesday by posting to their website a 38-second, slow-motion video clip of him taking a handful of drop-backs and throws. Their first organized on-field offseason workout was closed to the media.

"We wanted to at least put something out there to show that this is part of his rehab," Spielman said (see full story).

NFL: Pro Bowl returning to Orlando for second consecutive year
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Pro Bowl will return to Orlando in 2018 for the second straight year.

Orlando will host the Pro Bowl on Jan. 28, 2018, at 3 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN and ABC, the NFL announced Wednesday. Last season, the NFL played its all-star game in Orlando for the first time at Camping World Stadium.

The NFL has a two-year deal with an option for a third year to play the Pro Bowl in Orlando.

The 2018 game will feature the AFC vs. NFC format, which returned last season.