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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Stories by Grey Papke:

Brandon Marshall fears Las Vegas could overwhelm younger players

Brandon Marshall

New York Giants wide receiver Brandon Marshall was allowed to address the NFL’s annual meeting in Phoenix on Monday, and he touched on a variety of topics.

Most interesting, perhaps, was Marshall warning of the temptations of Las Vegas in light of the Oakland Raiders’ relocation announcement.

“It’s business, right? It’s the entertainment business,” Marshall said, via Kevin Seifert of ESPN. “They may not like me saying this, but Las Vegas is a beautiful place.

“A lot of times when you think about Las Vegas, you just think about the strip, right? But I just want to make sure that the players are protected. I think that it can be a tough place for a kid coming out of college, so that locker room has to be strong, because there is so much there. There is access to so much. It’s a strip, but it’s really big, and it can be overwhelming at times for young, immature players.”

The Raiders will move to Las Vegas within a year or three, and both their players and visiting opponents will have to navigate the city. Of course, it’s an open question whether Vegas is really that much more tempting and dangerous than, say, the nightlife offered in Miami or New York.

John Elway: Broncos plan to ‘stay the course’ with Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch

The Denver Broncos sound increasingly content with the quarterbacks that they have now, and may be shutting the door on a Tony Romo pursuit.

Broncos general manager John Elway said Monday that the franchise’s plan is to “stay the course” with Trevor Siemian and Paxton Lynch and look only at the draft going forward.

The Broncos have been frequently linked to Romo, so this could be a bluff. However, Vic Lombardi of Altitude was quick to note that Elway was not saying this earlier in the month at the NFL Combine.

Elway said that Romo has not been a topic of conversation at league meetings, but we knew he Broncos didn’t intend to trade for him. It’s sounding increasingly possible that they won’t look his way even when he’s released by Dallas.

Robert Kraft: Tom Brady open to playing ‘another 6 or 7 years’

Tom Brady

Tom Brady may be playing a while longer if he has anything to say about it.

According to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Brady has told him that he would be open to playing 6 or 7 more years.

Brady turns 40 in August, so we’d be getting into some ridiculous territory if he actually did play that long. On the other hand, Brady has said he plans to keep playing as long as he can do it at a high level. Who knows how long that will be. If his body permits it, it seems silly to doubt him.

Derek Carr pens emotional note about Raiders leaving Oakland

Derek Carr

Moments after it was confirmed that the Oakland Raiders would be relocating to Las Vegas, quarterback Derek Carr issued a statement explaining his conflicted emotions.

Carr — a California native — wrote on Twitter that he was “overwhelmed with emotion” and wasn’t sure how to feel about the announcement. He praised Oakland fans and pledged that the Raiders would be “bringing a piece of Oakland with us” when they do make the move.

It will be at least a year or two at least before the Raiders leave Oakland, but Carr’s emotions are rather similar to another franchise quarterback who saw his franchise relocate this offseason. The good news is, unlike his counterpart, Carr will at least have the opportunity to play a little longer in the city he’ll be departing.

NFL owners approve Raiders move to Las Vegas

Mark Davis

The Oakland Raiders are formally in the clear to move to Las Vegas.

As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, NFL owners approved the proposed relocation on Monday, easily surpassing the 24-vote threshold needed.

This move has been in the works for months, with the formal paperwork being filed in January. Once Mark Davis got the stadium funding secured, it was only a matter of time. An NFL team in Las Vegas will be something to see, and it’ll be fascinating to watch how the league handles the potential gambling interests that could pop up here.

Christian Laettner taunts Kentucky after Elite Eight heartbreaker

Luke Maye

Christian Laettner still enjoys ripping Kentucky’s heart out, or at the very least, pouring salt in the wound when someone else does.

The Duke icon was even willing to root for North Carolina if it meant knocking Kentucky out of the tournament. Luke Maye did that on Sunday with a dramatic shot, just as Laettner had with Duke 25 years prior — while wearing the same number.

Maye’s game-winner wasn’t quite the famous Laettner shot, but it wasn’t that far off, and the fact that they both wore No. 32 as they blocked Kentucky from the Final Four is just icing on the cake. This probably won’t do anything to make Kentucky fans like Laettner any more.

Report: Colin Kaepernick wants $9 million and chance at starting job

Colin Kaepernick

There may be a perfectly logical reason Colin Kaepernick remains jobless that has nothing to do with his activism — he’s simply asking for too much.

According to Dan Graziano of ESPN, two sources have said that Kaepernick is currently seeking a deal in the $9-$10 million range in addition to the immediate chance to compete for a starting job. There aren’t many teams that can offer the latter, and those that do are probably balking a bit at the former.

There are definitely teams that will be scared off by Kaepernick’s political stances, but his contractual demands may also be a factor. There aren’t a ton of teams that need a starting quarterback.

Some players believe Kaepernick is being blackballed by the league. The truth may not be that harsh, particularly if this report is accurate.

Bill O’Brien ducks Tony Romo question, praises Tom Savage

Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien is sticking to the script and refusing to talk about Tony Romo — all while hyping up his current quarterback.

As things stand, Tom Savage is atop the Houston depth chart, and O’Brien focused on him when asked about Romo rumors.

“Well first of all, Tony is under contract so he’s a Dallas Cowboy,” O’Brien told NFL Network’s Judy Battista, via Kevin Patra of NFL.com. “We feel like, right now, we have two quarterbacks that’ll be there on April 17, the beginning of our offseason program. It’ll be Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden. We are really looking forward to working with those guys. Both those guys can throw the football.

“Tom is a guy who played two or three games for us last year, played well, did some good things for our football team. Still a young player, so we’re real excited to work with him. We’re excited to be working with Brandon. Two years ago, he helped us win a couple games as our starting quarterback, so that’s where it is right now. Now, every day in this league is a fluid situation. Every day, whether it’s the draft or free agency or someone gets released or whatever that is. But today, as we sit here right now, we’re excited and we will be excited about who we have in that room, and of course, over the next few weeks, maybe we add to that room, maybe we don’t…”

O’Brien went on to praise Savage further, calling him “a guy that we’re real excited about working with.”

The Texans coach certainly did not close the door on adding Romo when he is inevitably released by Dallas. They still won’t trade for him, which hasn’t sat well with one NFL legend, but it’s pretty clear that they’re dug in and not changing their minds at this point.

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