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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Gardner Minshew era in Jacksonville is over — for at least this week, anyway.

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone is going with Mike Glennon as his starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against Minnesota despite the fact that Minshew has completely recovered from his thumb injury. Marrone said Glennon will keep the job as long as he plays well.

“We just feel like he gives us the best opportunity [to win],” Marrone said of Glennon, who completed 20 of 35 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns in the Jaguars’ 27-25 loss to Cleveland on Sunday. “Thought he did some really good things last week and hopefully we can build on them and move forward.

“He’s been there. He has experience. He showed that he can protect the football. He showed that he can make throws, take shots. Has some accuracy. I think that he’s been practicing well and went in there and played well. Like I told him, I said, ‘Hey we expect you to play better this week.'”

The Browns game was Glennon’s first start since Week 4 of the 2017 season and his first game action since Nov. 24, 2019, when he was with Oakland and came in at the end of a 34-3 loss to the New York Jets.

The Jaguars went into the 2020 season with Minshew as the unquestioned starter to give the second-year player the chance to prove he could be the franchise’s long-term starter. He helped the Jaguars upset Indianapolis in the season opener and had them in position to beat Tennessee in Nashville, where they’ve struggled to keep games close. But he hasn’t significantly improved on the issues that plagued him as a rookie last season: comfort in the pocket, arm strength, throwing receivers open and working the middle of the field.

Minshew has 13 touchdown passes and five interceptions and was completing 65.9% of his passes before a thumb injury on his throwing hand put him on the bench. Minshew suffered the injury on Oct. 11 but hid it from the coaching staff for the next two games.

Marrone decided to start Jake Luton, the team’s sixth-round pick, over Glennon for the Houston game Nov. 8, and the former Oregon State standout played solidly against the Texans, becoming the first Jaguars rookie QB to throw for 300 yards in his first start. Luton struggled a bit in the wind against Green Bay the next week, then played terribly against Pittsburgh on Nov. 22: 16-of-37 for 151 yards and four interceptions.

Marrone benched Luton for Glennon, but Marrone said he won’t hesitate to go to Luton or Minshew if Glennon doesn’t play well.

“Everything in this league is day-to-day, week-to-week, and I think especially when we’re having the season that we’re having right now and we’re trying to get ourselves focused on Minnesota for a win,” Marrone said. “I think it’d be naive of me [not] to say that every position has to play well from week to week and if we feel like someone else behind them can produce better or gives us a better chance to win, we’ll go ahead and make that move. I don’t want to put it just on the one position. It’s really all positions.”

Even if Minshew were to regain the starting job, he’s clearly not the long-term answer in Jacksonville. The Jaguars are 1-10 and in a battle with the New York Jets (0-11) for the No. 1 pick in 2021 and Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence. Regardless of which pick they end up with, the new GM — Dave Caldwell was fired last weekend — will almost certainly select a quarterback.

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Madden NFL 22 teases cover athletes with goats

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The Madden NFL 22 game cover will be released later this week. The day when we see which superstar nabs the cover is another big date on the NFL’s offseason calendar.

To promote this year’s cover release, EA Sports is teasing the identity of the athlete with literal goats. Former cover athlete Peyton Hillis interacts with the animals and reacts to the cover.

The video seems to promise two GOAT (greatest of all time) athletes. Given his Super Bowl win last season and his untouchable status as the NFL’s greatest QB, it’s safe to assume that Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady will be one of the athletes featured.

But who could join him? Could it be Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, who lost to Brady in Super Bowl LV? Maybe it’s a former or current Brady collaborator. Whomever it is, the ungulate ad men in the video aren’t saying.

Who do you think will be joining Brady?



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WR Jamison Crowder agrees to pay cut to remain with New York Jets, source says

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — New York Jets wide receiver Jamison Crowder, the team’s leading receiver the last two seasons, avoided the possibility of being released by agreeing to a pay cut, a source confirmed Monday.

Crowder was due to make a non-guaranteed $10 million in base pay for 2021, the final year of a three-year, $28.5 million contract. Details of the renegotiated contract weren’t immediately available, but the new deal is expected to significantly lower his $11.4 million cap charge.

The Jets are among the league leaders in cap space (about $27 million), but they approached Crowder recently about a reduction. Crowder, who turns 28 on Thursday, skipped the voluntary portion of the offseason as the two sides haggled over the contract. NFL Network first reported the agreement.

The Jets’ mandatory minicamp starts Tuesday, and Crowder is expected to attend.

Coach Robert Saleh was optimistic that a deal would get done, saying 10 days ago that “Jamison’s definitely got a role here and we’re excited to have him.”

After signing receivers Corey Davis and Keelan Cole in free agency, and drafting Elijah Moore in the second round, the Jets had the leverage in talks with Crowder. He led the team with 59 catches and 699 yards in 2020, but his production was down because he missed four games due to leg injuries. The Jets also finished 32nd in total offense for the second straight year.

Even though Crowder is back, it will be interesting to see if his role diminishes in the regular season. Moore, selected 34th overall, has impressed the coaches in offseason practices. Like Crowder, he’s a slot receiver.

In another contract-relation development, safety Marcus Maye reported to the facility Monday ahead of the minicamp. Maye, who signed his franchise-tag tender ($10.6 million) earlier in the offseason, skipped the voluntary practices as the two sides attempt to negotiate a long-term deal. The deadline is July 15. If they can’t agree to a deal, Maye will play the 2021 season for the amount of the tender.

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Cam Newton expected to practice at New England Patriots minicamp after hand injury during OTAs

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Ten days after sustaining a minor injury on his right throwing hand, New England Patriots quarterback Cam Newton is expected to take part in the team’s mandatory minicamp beginning Monday, according to coach Bill Belichick.

Newton had not been present at last Thursday’s practice when reporters were present, but returned the following day. The hand apparently responded well.

“He practiced last week. I’d expect him this week too,” Belichick said Monday.

Newton has been taking top repetitions in spring practices, with Belichick having previously declared him the team’s quarterback. Belichick previously left open the possibility that Newton could face a challenge for the starting job when the team shifts from a spring teaching mode to more of an evaluation mode at the start of training camp in late July.

In Newton’s absence last Thursday, third-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham was the first player to take snaps, followed by veteran Brian Hoyer and then first-round draft pick Mac Jones.

Jones was complimentary of Newton, noting that he gave him the nickname “Mac and Cheese” while calling him a “good mentor.”

Another notable storyline at Patriots mandatory minicamp surrounds cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Gilmore is scheduled to earn a base salary of $7 million in 2021, which is below market value for a player of his caliber, and Belichick deflected a question when asked if he’s seen Gilmore at camp.

Gilmore is not present, according to the Boston Globe.

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