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NFL notebook: Ex-Steeler Sanders picks Manning over Big Ben

| Monday, July 28, 2014, 9:15 p.m.

Former Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders spent the first four seasons of his career catching passes from Ben Roethlisberger.

It's only taken him a few months with the Broncos' Peyton Manning to identify a key difference between the two star quarterbacks, reported.

“(From) a mental standpoint, I don't care to really say this, but I feel Peyton is a far better leader,” he told radio station KKFM in Denver. “In terms of staying after practice, catching balls, wanting guys to get on the same page with him and things of that sort.

“But both of them are winners. And Ben, his playing style is a lot different. Ben, with the system that he's in Pittsburgh, he takes advantage of it.”

Suh contract talks postponed

The Lions are postponing contract talks with All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh until after the season.

Suh is entering the final season of his contract, and team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew said before practice Monday that negotiations are being tabled.

Lewand and Mayhew expressed optimism that a deal can eventually be reached. If the sides can't come to an agreement after the season, the Lions could still keep Suh by using their franchise tag on him.

Suh was drafted in 2010 by the Lions with the second overall pick, and he has 27 12 sacks in his four pro seasons.

Texans look to veteran QB

The Texans' biggest problem in their 2-14 season was inconsistent play at quarterback.

Enter Ryan Fitzpatrick. The veteran faces the big task of turning around an offense that did little right last year.

Fitzpatrick was signed in the offseason after Houston traded Matt Schaub, whose terrible play last year helped doom the Texans to the NFL's worst record. Fitzpatrick was named Houston's starter in minicamp and is focused on becoming a leader on his new team.

Panthers rookie WR returns

The Panthers are breathing a sigh of relief over rookie wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin.

Carolina coach Ron Rivera said an MRI revealed the team's first-round draft pick has a bone bruise in his left knee and will miss at least a few days of training camp.

“We got a bit of good news,” Rivera said. “It's stable and everything is fine. There's nothing structurally wrong. It is bruised. There is a swelling and what we refer to as a hot spot.”

Rivera wouldn't give a specific timetable on Benjamin's return.

He said it should take a “few days” for the swelling to subside.

Around the league

Demaryius Thomas returned to the Broncos from bereavement leave, but his flight from Georgia didn't get back in time for him to participate in a spirited practice at Dove Valley that featured three scuffles. Thomas caught a team-best 92 passes for 1,430 yards and 14 touchdowns last year. ... The Colts waived former Steelers running back Chris Rainey for violating team rules, coach Chuck Pagano said. ... Cardinals outside linebacker John Abraham was absent for the third straight day of training camp, a day after it was learned the NFL's active sacks leader was arrested and charged late last month for driving under the influence in Georgia, the Arizona Republic reported. ... The Patriots claimed rookie running back Tyler Gaffney off waivers after the Panthers tried to sneak their sixth-round pick through waivers and onto IR.

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