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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Headlines

Report: Browns trying to trade for Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins

The Cleveland Browns need a quarterback badly and they apparently are looking to Washington to solve that problem.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported on Thursday night that the Browns are trying to acquire Kirk Cousins in a trade.

The Browns were believed to have been targeting Mitchell Trubisky in the NFL Draft. They selected Myles Garrett with the No. 1 overall pick, while the Chicago Bears moved up a spot to take Trubisky second.

The Browns were said to be targeting Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson as backup plans in the draft at QB, but it looks like they’re trying to do even more.

Cleveland has been involved in trade talks for Jimmy Garoppolo throughout the offseason, but reports have said the Patriots won’t trade their backup QB. Maybe with all of their extra picks stashed up and their preferred QB off the board, the Browns are trying for a different Plan B.

Cousins signed a franchise tag tender and will make nearly $24 million next season. Washington is believed to have offered him a five-year contract extension this offseason.

Roger Goodell encourages boos from Philly draft crowd

Roger Goodell

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apparently recognizes how most NFL fans feel about him.

Taking a page out of the David Stern playbook, Goodell encouraged the boos from the Philadelphia fans in attendance for Thursday’s NFL Draft:

Goodell must have known that the boos were coming because he wasted no time egging on the fans. This is actually a tradition for most sports commissioners, as Stern — the former NBA commish — and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman are used to such treatment from fans when making public appearances.

Here was some of the reaction from Twitter:

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Browns reportedly taking Myles Garrett at No. 1 overall

Myles Garrett

There have been lots of reports saying the Cleveland Browns have heavy interest in Mitchell Trubisky even with the No. 1 overall pick, but it sounds like they’re going with Myles Garrett.

Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot says the Browns are taking Garrett with their first pick and the team had one final meeting to solidify that decision.

Even if Cleveland is going to take Garrett first, that does not mean they won’t still pursue Trubisky.

The Browns could trade up for the former North Carolina QB if needed. They could also go with Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson later in the draft.

Cleveland has the Nos. 12, 33 and 52 picks in the draft.

Britt McHenry laid off by ESPN as part of cuts

Britt McHenry ESPN

ESPN has decided to lay off dozens of well-known and many lesser-known employees as part of a wide-sweeping overhaul, and Britt McHenry was informed on Thursday that she has not survived the cuts.

McHenry, who worked at ESPN for three years, revealed on Twitter that the NFL Draft will be her last assignment with the network.

The news of McHenry’s firing came after big industry names like Jayson Stark, Andy Katz, Brett McMurphy, Trent Dilfer and many more were informed they are being let go.

McHenry became more well-known under negative circumstances two years ago, when she was caught on video berating a parking lot attendant. She said several months ago that the backlash from that incident has had lasting effects on her physical and mental health.

10 teams with glaring NFL Draft needs

NFL draft

Every team in the NFL has a need, perhaps even more than one. That’s the nature of the free agency age as it’s much harder for teams to keep their talent for the duration of player’s career. That results in an added emphasis on drafting well.

This year is no different and 32 teams — yes, even the New England Patriots — have holes that must be filled. But for some, that need is more extensive than others. For those teams, April’s draft could either make them or completely break them.

With that in mind, here’s a look at 10 teams with glaring draft needs that must be addressed before training camps get underway.

10. San Francisco 49ers – Quarterback

There really is no secret about what the 49ers need above all else as they head into the NFL Draft. In fact, it’s been widely discussed on even a national level thanks to the attention (and ire) Colin Kaepernick has drawn.

The 49ers need a quarterback. They need a franchise quarterback, and they need one now.

Brian Hoyer, while sporadically successful throughout his career, is not the answer. Blaine Gabbert is not the answer. Christian Ponder and Matt Barkley are not the answer. And while there are needs along the offensive line, none eclipse the need of finding a quarterback who is more talented than the names just rattled off.

The good news? The 49ers will have a shot at one. In fact, it’s likely they’ll have a shot at whatever quarterback they want at No. 2 overall. But even if they opt to wait until the second round, the chance remains a solid quarterback will be there for the taking.

9. Tennessee Titans – Linebacker

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Brad Stevens has funny quote about game-planning for Isaiah Canaan

Brad Stevens

Brad Stevens’ memory serves as a useful scouting tool, thank you very much.

Before his Boston Celtics played the Chicago Bulls in Game 5 on Wednesday, Stevens had this funny quote Jared Weiss of CLNS Media Network when asked about game-planning for Bulls guard Isaiah Canaan. Canaan will draw the start, and the Celtics will have little film to go off of when preparing for him.

Of course, Stevens is referring to his tenure as head coach of the Butler Bulldogs, who were given a hard time by Canaan and the Murray State Racers in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.

Canaan has only played in one game this postseason and got just 15.2 minutes per game in 39 appearances for the Bulls during the regular season. But in a series that has been dominated by guard play to this point, Stevens seems to think that he has all the intel he needs.

Autopsy reportedly showed Aaron Hernandez used synthetic marijuana

Aaron Hernandez

An autopsy conducted on Aaron Hernandez’s body after he committed suicide in prison last week reportedly revealed that the former NFL star was using synthetic marijuana.

Law enforcement sources with direct knowledge of the case told Michele McPhee of Newsweek that a kidney fluid screen showed traces of K2, which is a synthetic form of marijuana. The presence of the drug in Hernandez’s system is one of the reasons Massachusetts State Police have raided the Souza Baronwski Correctional Center and have reportedly been searching for contraband and gathering other information.

McPhee’s sources described it as “unusual” for state troopers to conduct a prison search. According to the report, one corrections officer has been placed on paid leave after he was accused of failing to complete his cell check at 2 a.m. the morning Hernandez hung himself. Police are also said to have searched “the warehouse” shared by Souza Baronwski Correctional Center and another prison, with the intention being to determine if there are any liquified drugs like K2 on the premises. K2 can be smuggled into prisons by dipping the corners of a piece of paper into the drug and mailing it as a letter.

With the Hernandez case being so high-profile, investigators are likely going to take their time figuring out exactly what happened and determining if there was any wrongdoing or negligence on the part of prison officials. Previous reports indicated fellow inmates suspected Hernandez may have been using K2.

Hernandez reportedly had a bible verse written on his forehead at the time he committed suicide. One theory (read it here) speculates that Hernandez may have taken his own life for financial reasons, while a previous report from Newsweek claimed the ex-New England Patriot feared being outed as gay.

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