Trades set the stage for top QBs

Goff, Wentz pro­jected to be taken Nos. 1, 2

Packer Plus - - Nfl Notebook - Tirico

Des­per­ate for a fran­chise quar­ter­back, the Philadel­phia Ea­gles can get their man.

The Cleve­land Browns will wait for their guy.

The Ea­gles ac­quired the No. 2 over­all pick in the NFL draft from Cleve­land in exchange for five picks. The Browns are get­ting Philadel­phia’s first-round pick this year (No. 8), a third-round pick (No. 77) and fourthrounder (No. 100), plus a firstrounder in 2017 and a fourthrounder in 2018.

Cleve­land also sends the Ea­gles a 2017 fourth-round pick.

The trade al­lows Philadel­phia to se­lect one of the top quar­ter­back prospects, Car­son Wentz of North Dakota State or Jared Goff of Cal­i­for­nia at No. 2. The Los An­ge­les Rams al­ready ac­quired the top over­all pick from Ten­nessee for a slew of picks and have in­di­cated they will take a quar­ter­back.

The Ea­gles al­ready signed Sam Brad­ford to a $35 mil­lion, two-year con­tract in March. They also signed backup Chase Daniel to a $21 mil­lion, three-year deal.

The Browns re­cently signed Robert Grif­fin III, mak­ing it eas­ier to trade the sec­ond pick. Grif­fin agreed to a two-year, $15 mil­lion con­tract.

Nor­man to Wash­ing­ton: Star cor­ner­back Josh Nor­man agreed to a five-year, $75 mil­lion deal with the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins last week.

Nor­man, one of the Na­tional Football League’s top cor­ners, be­came a free agent af­ter the Carolina Pan­thers re­scinded the fran­chise tag, which would have paid him $13.9 mil­lion next sea­son. The 28-year-old was hold­ing out for a long-term con­tract.

Nor­man had a ca­reer-high four in­ter­cep­tions, 16 passes de­fensed and 56 tack­les last sea­son for the NFC cham­pi­ons.

AP Source: Tirico leav­ing ESPN for NBC: Mike Tirico is leav­ing ESPN and ABC Sports this sum­mer when his con­tract ex­pires to work for NBC, a per­son fa­mil­iar with the move told The As­so­ci­ated Press on Mon­day.

The per­son spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause nei­ther net­work had made an an­nounce­ment about the broad­caster. Sport­sBusi­ness Jour­nal was first to re­port the news.

Tirico be­gan work­ing at ESPN in 1991 and be­came its “Mon­day Night Football” play-by-play an­nouncer a decade ago.

He seam­lessly tran­si­tions to call­ing action for ma­jor golf and ten­nis tour­na­ments, NBA and col­lege bas­ket­ball and col­lege football.

“He never seems to get flus­tered or rat­tled,” for­mer broad­cast part­ner Joe Theis­mann once said. “He’s in­cred- ibly smooth.”

Tirico was part of a newlook broad­cast as “Mon­day Night Football” moved from ABC — its home for 36 sea­sons — to ESPN.

“If I’m do­ing my job, I’ll be like an of­fen­sive line­man or an of­fi­cial,” Tirico said in 2006 dur­ing an AP in­ter­view be­fore mak­ing his “Mon­day Night Football,” de­but. “You’ll know I’m there, but you won’t re­ally notice me.”

Mer­chan­dise sales: Scan­dal over de­flated foot­balls put Pa­tri­ots quar­ter­back Tom Brady un­der a mi­cro­scope last sea­son. It didn’t stop him from be­ing the NFL’s top mer­chan­dise seller.

The NFL Play­ers As­so­ci­a­tion said Mon­day that mer­chan­dise fea­tur­ing the Pa­tri­ots quar­ter­back ranked No. 1 on its list of sales for li­censed prod­ucts sold on­line and in tra­di­tional re­tail out­lets. Brady re­gained the top spot from Sea­hawks quar­ter­back Rus­sell Wil­son, who was the best­selling player for two straight sales quar­ters.

Sales for all player-iden­ti­fied prod­ucts ex­ceeded $1.5 bil­lion for the 2015-’16 sea­son. The list is based on sales from March 1, 2015, through Feb. 29, 2016.

Brady last held the top spot on the list in the first quar­ter of 2015.

Round­ing out the sea­so­nend­ing top five are re­cently re­tired Pey­ton Man­ning, Wil­son, Pack­ers quar­ter­back Aaron Rodgers and Cow­boys re­ceiver Dez Bryant. Join­ing them in the top 10 are Giants re­ceiver Odell Beck­ham Jr., Pan­thers quar­ter­back Cam New­ton, Pa­tri­ots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Tex­ans de­fen­sive end J.J. Watt and Cow­boys tight end Ja­son Wit­ten.

Watt pro­gress­ing af­ter surgery: Watt has al­most com­pletely re­cov­ered from off­sea­son groin surgery.

“I feel great,” he said. “It’s com­ing along re­ally well, very close to get­ting back to 100%.”

Tex­ans re­lease Hoyer: The Hous­ton Tex­ans have cut quar­ter­back Brian Hoyer.

The Tex­ans an­nounced the move last week, lit­tle more than a month af­ter sign­ing Brock Osweiler to a four-year, $72 mil­lion con­tract. Hous­ton also re­leased quar­ter­back B.J. Daniels.

Hoyer signed a two-year con­tract be­fore last sea­son, but his five-turnover de­ba­cle in a 30-0 play­off loss to Kansas City sug­gested his days in Hous­ton were num­bered.

Pack­ers cut line­man: The Green Bay Pack­ers re­leased de­fen­sive end Ray Drew. Drew, a 6-foot-4, 300-pound first-year player out of Ge­or­gia, signed with Green Bay on March 14.

TIM HEIT­MAN / USA TO­DAY SPORTS

Cal­i­for­nia quar­ter­back Jared Goff could go No. 1 over­all af­ter the Los An­ge­les Rams traded to ac­quire the top pick in the draft.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

North Dakota State quar­ter­back Car­son Wentz isn’t ex­pected to fall past the Ea­gles, who now hold the No. 2 pick.

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