NFL notebook: Seahawks, WR Baldwin work out $13M deal
After the Super Bowl celebration wrapped up, Seattle general manager John Schneider laid out his contract plans to Doug Baldwin.
First on the agenda was getting an extension done with All-Pro safety Earl Thomas. Next was figuring out a deal with All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman.
And lastly was getting Baldwin locked up.
“It was kind of surprising at the end when he said it,” Baldwin said. “I didn't believe him, to be honest with you. But here it is and it actually happened the way he said it would happen.”
The former undrafted wide receiver out of Stanford got his reward on Thursday when he signed an extension that will keep him with the Seahawks through the 2016 season. Baldwin will play the 2014 season under the second-round tender he received as a restricted free agent then will receive two additional years.
The deal is expected to be worth up to $13 million over the three seasons.
Baldwin had 50 catches in the regular season and five touchdowns in 2013 and was especially reliable on third downs.
Jets' Mornhinweg: QB competition isn't ‘50-50'
Rex Ryan is right about the Jets' quarterback competition. And, so is Michael Vick.
Yes, both Vick and Geno Smith will compete for the starting job — as Ryan has said all offseason. And, yes, Smith, a West Virginia product, enters with a slight advantage — as Vick has insisted since he signed in March.
Open or closed competition? Whatever. The Jets have two quarterbacks vying to be the starter. Just ask offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg.
“It may not be quite like the competition we had last year, where everything was 50-50 (between Smith and Mark Sanchez),” Mornhinweg said Thursday. “Mike has all that experienced banked. We're trying to continue the progress with Geno and then have Mike ready to go.
“It's just that simple, and Mike knows exactly what expectations and roles he has.”
Mornhinweg recently said the team's goal is to make sure Smith progresses, indicating then that Smith had perhaps a slight edge over Vick entering the competition. He reiterated that with his comments Thursday, a day after the Jets' quarterback situation became a bit murky because of perceived mixed signals.
Saints S Byrd has back surgery
Saints coach Sean Payton said newly acquired safety Jairus Byrd has undergone surgery to address a nagging problem with a disc in his back and is expected to be fully recovered by the start of training camp.
The procedure is preventing Byrd from participating in voluntary offseason practices, which were opened to media for the first time on Thursday.
Payton says the procedure wasn't necessary and that Byrd could have played with his condition, but that the club and player both agreed that taking care of it now “would prevent any issues in the fall.”
Byrd, signed as a free agent this offseason, has gone to three Pro Bowls in his five NFL seasons, all with Buffalo. He has 22 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and three sacks in his career.
Packers DE misses practice, grandmother reportedly shot in head
Packers defensive end Jerel Worthy missed Thursday's practice session while dealing with tragic family matter, Fox Sports reported.
According to ABC 22 in Huber Heights, Ohio, a woman was shot in the head early Thursday morning and is in critical condition. That woman is reportedly Mae Worthy, the grandmother of Jerel Worthy. The report adds that Mae's husband, James Worthy, was questioned about the shooting, though early accounts think the shooting may have been accidental.
The Packers did not comment on Worthy's absence Thursday.
Worthy was a second-round draft pick in 2012.
Jags coach: Assistant Yarno diagnosed with cancer
Veteran Jaguars line coach George Yarno was diagnosed with cancer
Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley did not disclose the type of cancer Yarno has, but says Yarno will not be taking a leave of absence from the team. He did say Yarno would miss some practice time with the team due to his treatment schedule.
Yarno was at the Jaguars OTA practice on Thursday but spent most of his time on the sidelines. Assistant line coach Luke Butkus handled most of the individual drills.
Yarno has coached for 23 years including six years in the NFL. He joined the Jaguars coaching staff as offensive line coach in January of 2013.
The 55-year-old Yarno also had NFL coaching stops in Tampa Bay and Detroit.
Lewan's ex-girlfriend says he punched Ohio State fan
Top Titans draft pick Taylor Lewan punched an Ohio State fan, according to his ex-girlfriend and an alleged victim.
Lewan, a former offensive lineman at Michigan, was charged with one count of aggravated assault and two counts of assault and battery after a confrontation with two Ohio State fans after the Buckeyes beat the Wolverines last season. The 22-year-old Lewan has said he breaking up a dispute and wasn't involved in a fight.
According to a 36-page Ann Arbor police report obtained by the Associated Press, James Hughes says Lewan hit him in the face and Alex Dileo, whose brother, Drew, was a teammate of Lewan's, says, “Taylor is lying” about his actions Dec. 1.
An attorney for Lewan did not immediately return a telephone message.
Around the league
Eli Manning participated with the first-team offense at the Giants' organized team activity, showing no signs of the offseason ankle surgery he underwent nearly two months ago. … Chiefs coach Andy Reid downplayed the absences of cornerback Brandon Flowers and linebacker Justin Houston from the first week of voluntary, full-squad workouts.
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