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NFL Combine week news roundup: Contracts, surgeries and rumors

We roundup the most important and interesting NFL stories as the Combine gets underway.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

There's a lot happening across the NFL this week. It might be the offseason, but we're getting into the thick of it with the combine, free agency, and looking ahead to the draft. The biggest news today has to do with the Bengals' AFC North foes, the Ravens, placing the franchise tag on Justin Tucker. That should cost them more than $4 million, which is a huge chunk of their current cap space. There's also talk that the Titans know who they'll be going with when they make the first pick in the 2016 NFL draft. And, remember when ESPN and Adam Schefter released Jason Pierre-Paul's X-rays following his July 4th fireworks incident? Well, that may be coming back to bite them.

Contract developments

DeMeco Ryans released by Philadelphia Eagles

The former rookie of the year (2006) and two time Pro Bowler (2007, 2009) for the Houston Texans has spent the latter part of his career with the Eagles but that will no longer be the case as he was released this week. Some might see it as a shame for a formerly great player to be cut so quickly, but his play has declined lately. He even had the lowest tackling efficiency of any starting linebacker in the NFL last year.

Justin Tucker will return to the Ravens via the franchise tag

Justin Tucker is one of the best kickers in the NFL, so the Ravens figured they had better use whatever they have at their disposal to lock him up. It's a bit of an interesting outlook for next year as it seems the Ravens were unable to convince him to stay via any extension talks. The Ravens also don't have much cap room so Tucker's franchise tag will take up a big chunk of their current cap.

John Elway says the Broncos will not use the franchise tag on Brock Osweiler

On the flip side of Tucker's situation, the Broncos are willing to gamble on Osweiler's future with the team for the sake of hashing out a multi-year deal. Elway is open to using the franchise tag to retain defensive end Malik Jackson, who reportedly wants $12 million per year.


The Titans may have given away who they want to take with the No. 1 pick

The Tennessee Titans' General Manager, Jon Robinson, had some very complimentary things to say about Laremy Tunsil, the OT prospect out of Ole Miss. It's been projected for a while now that Tunsil could be one of the candidates the Titans will be looking at with the No. 1 overall pick. But, they've been fairly tight-lipped on the matter. This might have been their general manager's slip up.

Sean Payton says that he expects himself and Drew Brees to be re-signed soon

Saints fans will be excited to hear that their team is not yet giving up on the quarterback and head coach who brought them a Super Bowl ring following the 2009 season. Although no deals have been inked yet, Payton is talking like it's only a matter of time.

Ian Rapoport says there's 'no doubt' Eric Berry will return to the Chiefs

This one isn't a huge surprise. Berry, when healthy, has been one of the better young safeties in the NFL He's made the Pro Bowl all but two years that he's been in the league (2011, 2014), and his comeback story in 2015 shows just how tough of a player he is. Berry was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in the 2014 season, but he proved his ability to overcome by playing at a pro-bowl level again in 2015.

Rams expected to re-sign or put the franchise tag on Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson

As the Los Angeles Rams prepare to build a new era of Rams football in southern California, one of the most important things they will need to do is lock down key players with whom to build their new brand. They've got a pair of good, young cornerbacks in Jenkins and Johnson who would be great cornerstones on which to use as a foundation for their return. It's expected the Rams will re-sign both and if they can't re-sign one to a long-term deal, it's possible he receives the franchise tag.

Administrative news

3 judges named to ruling on NFL's appeal on Tom Brady's Deflategate case

The lengthy Deflategate battle isn't ending any time soon. Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann, Judge Barrington D. Parker and Judge Denny Chin have all been named to the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals for the case. Brady will not be present in the courtroom for the appeals, but he is expected to be represented by his agent and the NFLPA executive director, DeMaurice Smith.

Don't expect the NFL catch rule to be reworked any time soon.

According to Giants president and member of the NFL Competition Committee, John Mara, and NFL head of officiating, Dean Blandino, the controversial NFL catch rule isn't likely to be 'fixed' any time soon. Why? There are just too many factors that go into it. As of right now, it's just something that we're going to have to live with.

Jason Pierre-Paul is suing ESPN and Adam Schefter.

According to Pierre-Paul, he believes that ESPN and Adam Schefter improperly obtained private medical documentation related to his hand injury. As you may remember, Schefter posted JPP's X-Rays on Twitter shortly after the fireworks incident and they quickly went viral. As a public figure, it could be difficult for him to win the lawsuit with the claim of his privacy being violated. However, even Schefter himself has admitted to potentially not doing enough to protect Pierre-Paul's privacy.

Other News

Mike McCarthy says that he and the Packers 'never, ever' asked Eddie Lacy to lose 30 pounds.

Despite Ian Rapoport's report that the Packers asked Lacy to lose 30 pounds, Mike McCarthy says it never happened. McCarthy did confirm that Lacy is currently working with a personal trainer and suggested some sort of body-shape talks were had, but specifically said that 30 pounds was "totally out of the realm of what we're talking about."

Jared Goff's hands measure 'nine inches' at the combine.

Depending on who you ask, this could either hurt his draft stock. Former Bengals' offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson, is in the former camp, saying of the measurement "It matters because we play in a division where all of a sudden there's rain, there's snow and it's different." In the other camp, Bengals director of Player Personnel, Duke Tobin, said, "It's a little bit useless as a measurement". Jackson has much more reason to pay attention to the issue this year than Tobin.

Justin Houston had arthroscopic knee surgery for his 2016 knee injury.

Along with Tamba Hali, Houston underwent a recent knee surgery to 'clean up' the area and get him ready for the season. Houston had a Pro Bowl season before a knee-injury forced him to miss the final five games of the regular season and the Pro Bowl. It was initially reported that Houston's injury was merely a sprain and wouldn't keep him out for long. This surgery doesn't necessarily change the narrative, but it does appear that the injury may have been more serious than the team was willing to let on.