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elaine95 Offline

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24.08.2019 09:43
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ENGLEWOOD , Colo. (AP) — A lot of fans were stunned by Denver Broncos general manager John Elway’s decision to replace quarterback Case Keenum with Joe Flacco.Count Keenum among them.Appearing on the Sports Spectrum Podcast this week with his wife, Kimberly, Keenum said he was caught off guard when he was informed the Broncos and Ravens had the framework in place for a trade that will end Keenum’s stint as the Broncos starting QB after just one season.Neither the Broncos nor the Ravens, or even Flacco, can formally acknowledge the trade until it becomes official when the new league year begins March 13.Keenum is under no such gag order.“Elway called me that morning and we had a great conversation, which he didn’t have to do, and I appreciated that,” Keenum said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast this week.“I was definitely shocked, it was a surprise for us … we’re definitely disappointed, it’s not something we wanted to happen. I know that everybody’s doing their job and John feels like that was a chance for him to help the Broncos out.”A year ago, Keenum was a hot commodity, second only to Kirk Cousins among available veteran quarterbacks. He was coming off a breakout season in Minnesota, where he went 11-3 and helped the Vikings reach the NFC championship game.When the Vikings signed Cousins Michael Jordan Jersey , Keenum inked a two-year, $36 million deal with Denver that included $25 million guaranteed. The couple bought a home in Denver and Keenum said he hoped to turn his short-term deal into a long-term situation.He got off to a slow start last season, however, throwing interceptions in Denver’s first eight games on his way to a career-high 15 interceptions, which tied for second-most in the NFL.Preaching patience became a weekly mantra of his with Keenum expressing confidence he and his new teammates and coaches would eventually adjust to each other in time to make a late-season run.By December the Broncos weren’t rolling but staggering, bedeviled by an injury epidemic that had waylaid three O-line starters and the team’s top two tight ends. On Dec. 5, Emmanuel Sanders, who rose to No. 1 receiving threat when Demaryius Thomas was traded to Houston, tore an Achilles at practice.The Broncos lost their final four games, finishing 6-10 for their first back-to-back losing seasons since the Nixon Administration. That led Elway to fire Vance Joseph and replace him with Vic Fangio . Keenum wasn’t among the players who attended Fangio’s introductory news conference because he was on vacation out of the country.As he cleaned out his locker after the final game, Keenum said, “I learned a lot this year. I learned what it is to be a franchise quarterback.”Elway clearly didn’t see Keenum in that way.So, he’s moving on to another veteran in Flacco , 34, who will be Denver’s fifth starting quarterback since Peyton Manning retired after winning the Super Bowl three years ago.Keenum is slated to count $21 million against the salary cap next season, which is actually more than Flacco’s $18.5 million salary cap hit.That Broncos are hoping a trade partner emerges or that they can restructure Keenum’s contract to a figure more befitting a backup. Otherwise, releasing him would cost them $7 million but save them $11 million.Keenum seems to believe his time with the Broncos is over.“My time with the Broncos has been really special,” he said on the podcast. “I have enjoyed every second of it. I have absolutely been so proud to wake up every day and to walk into that building to represent the Broncos as their quarterback. … It was an honor.” NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Music City and the NFL are throwing quite a party for the draft, and the Tennessee Titans will be a couple of miles away at team headquarters quietly biding their time until hitting the clock.“We’re going to have to sit and wait for a while till we’re picking there at 19 — if we stay at 19,” general manager Jon Robinson said.The Titans hold the 19th pick overall after coming up a victory short of a second straight playoff berth in coach Mike Vrabel’s debut season. They have six total draft picks a year after drafting only four players, and the general manager who has made 14 trades since being hired in January 2016 has shown he’s willing to move. Robinson traded up in the first two rounds last year to take linebackers Rashaan Evans and Harold Landry III.Now the Titans must decide how to help Marcus Mariota with the quarterback going into his fifth and final season under contract.Mariota has yet to start all 16 games in any of his first four seasons, and the Titans made sure to upgrade their backup quarterback by trading with Miami for Ryan Tannehill. They also released Blaine Gabbert, who went 2-1 in Mariota’s place last season with the one loss in the regular-season finale.Tennessee goes into the draft with no specific holes after signing left guard Rodger Saffold, wide receiver Adam Humphries and linebacker Cameron Wake in free agency. Robinson also kept safety Kenny Vaccaro off the market, signing the veteran to a four-year deal two days before free agency opened Zach Brown Jersey , and bringing back offensive lineman Kevin Pamphile and running back David Fluellen.Perhaps adding a blocker such as North Carolina State center Garrett Bradbury would be wise on Day 1 of the draft.Improving wherever possible is the goal after going 9-7 in three consecutive seasons with only one playoff berth.“We all have to figure out how we can go from good to great,” Vrabel said. “We have to go from good to great. We have been 9-7 the past three years, which is stuck in the middle.”Some things to know about the Titans:PASS RUSHDrafting another outside linebacker is a must even with Wake replacing Brian Orakpo, who retired a day after the season ended. The Titans traded up to No. 41 last year for Landry who is in position to start with veteran Derrick Morgan no longer under contract. Landry tied for third on the team with 4½ sacks starting three of his 15 games. Sharif Finch also should play more after the undrafted rookie had 1½ sacks, but more depth is a must for a defense that had 39 sacks last season.PROTECTING MARIOTAThe Titans remade the interior of the offensive line, letting left guard Quinton Spain leave as a free agent for Buffalo and cutting right guard Josh Kline after he declined to rework the three years left on his contract. Pamphile is expected to have a chance at right guard. Center Ben Jones is going into the final year of his contract, while the Titans have not announced yet whether they will pick up right tackle Jack Conklin’s fifth-year option after injuries limited him to nine games last season.MARIOTA’S STATUSRobinson made clear that Mariota is the Titans’ starter with Tannehill brought in to push the younger quarterback. The Titans used their fourth and final draft pick last year at quarterback, though Luke Falk was waived in the final roster cuts. The Titans are determined to help Mariota grow after he set the franchise record completion rate at 68.2% percent last season. Keeping Mariota healthy is the first step after he was sacked a career-worst 42 times.“We’re excited that Marcus is our quarterback,” Vrabel said. “I just think the durability of the player is critical. We only have so many guys. … Being available is critical.”MORE TARGETSThe Titans could use another tight end with veteran Delanie Walker coming off a broken ankle that ended his season in the opener, especially with Jonnu Smith winding up on injured reserve himself. Considering Humphries would have led the Titans with his 76 catches and five TD receptions last season, more help for a still-young receiving group remains an option.TRADED PICKSThree of the Titans’ picks come within the first 82 selections. They sent their sixth-round pick to Baltimore last September in a deal for linebacker Kamalei Correa and their seventh-round selection to Miami as part of a trade for Tannehill. Tennessee also netted the Dolphins‘ second pick in the sixth round.

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