Trades set the stage for top QBs
Goff, Wentz projected to be taken Nos. 1, 2
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Norman, one of the National Football League’s top corners, became a free agent after the Carolina Panthers rescinded the franchise tag, which would have paid him $13.9 million next season.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.
California quarterback Jared Goff could go No. 1 overall after the Los Angeles Rams traded to acquire the top pick in the draft.
North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz isn’t expected to fall past the Eagles, who now hold the No. 2 pick.