NFL notebook: League announces draft attendees

NFL: Combine: Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Quenton Nelson is not expected to attend the NFL draft on April 26. --Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports (file photo)

--- NFLDraftScout.com ---

Two names are conspicuously absent from the list of 22 players who will attend the NFL draft, which begins April 26 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Quarterback Baker Mayfield, the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma, and offensive guard Quenton Nelson of Notre Dame won’t be there, according to the list released by the NFL on Thursday.

Nelson is ranked as the top overall prospect in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com, which also projects Nelson to be the sixth player taken in the first round by the Indianapolis Colts.

Mayfield said some time ago that he would not attend the draft. NFLDraftScout.com projects Mayfield will be the 12th overall pick in the draft, going to the Buffalo Bills.

Most of the other players expected to be taken early in the first round will attend. That includes quarterbacks Josh Allen of Wyoming, Sam Darnold of USC, Josh Rosen of UCLA and Lamar Jackson of Louisville. Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb and Penn State running back Saquon Barkley are ranked as the second- through fourth-best prospects by NFLDraftScout.com, and all four will be at the draft. Others scheduled to attend include defensive tackle Taven Bryan of Florida, defensive end Marcus Davenport of UTSA, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds of Virginia Tech, linebacker Rashaan Evans of Alabama, linebacker Shaquem Griffin of Central Florida, running back Derrius Guice of LSU, cornerback Josh Jackson of Iowa, safety Derwin James of Florida State, offensive tackle Kolton Miller of UCLA, linebacker Roquan Smith of Georgia, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch of Boise State, defensive tackle Vita Vea of Washington, cornerback Denzel Ward of Ohio State and offensive tackle Connor Williams of Texas.

–The Denver Broncos agreed to terms with free-agent punter Marquette King on a three-year contract, the team announced.

The deal is worth $7 million, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported.

The Oakland Raiders released King last week, and multiple media outlets reported it was because new head coach Jon Gruden had personality issues with the punter.

King said he was never given a precise reason why he was released.

–Free-agent cornerback William Gay has signed with the New York Giants, the team announced.

The Giants did not divulge the terms of the deal for Gay, who appeared in every game last season with the Pittsburgh Steelers but did not start a contest for the first time since his rookie campaign in 2007. Gay recorded 19 tackles, one interception and forced two fumbles in 2017.

The 33-year-old Gay is expected to fill the void left by the release of two-time Pro Bowl selection Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who started five of 15 games with the Giants last season and failed to record an interception for the second time in his career.

–Houston Texans owner Bob McNair is sorry for issuing an immediate apology after he compared NFL players to “inmates running the prison” last year.

McNair told the Wall Street Journal that he doesn’t think he did anything wrong and regrets being pressured into issuing an apology for the quote that sparked a firestorm in the NFL last season.

McNair insisted to the Wall Street Journal that the “inmates” he referenced during league meetings on Oct. 18 were not NFL players, but rather league executives who he felt had more control over significant decisions than the owners.

–Restricted free agent kicker Chris Boswell will remain with the Pittsburgh Steelers after he signed his second-round tender, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reported.

The Steelers will still attempt to sign Boswell to a long-term deal.

As of now, Boswell, 27, is scheduled to make $2.914 million in the 2018 season.

He was named to the Pro Bowl this past season after making 35 of 38 field-goal tries.

–North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb was expected to visit the New York Giants on Thursday, multiple media outlets reported.

Chubb is not alone as Penn State running back Saquon Barkley will pay the Giants a visit on Sunday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, citing a source.

The Giants conceivably could use the second overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft on either player.

–The Minnesota Vikings added depth to their receiving corps by signing free-agent wide receiver Tavarres King.

King played in eight games, including three starts, for the New York Giants last season, when he had 18 receptions for 240 yards and three touchdowns.

–Fullback Zach Line agreed to a two-year deal to remain with the New Orleans Saints, according to a tweet from his agent, Michael McCartney.

Line did not make the Saints’ roster after the preseason in 2017, but New Orleans put him back on the roster in October after fullback John Kuhn suffered a season-ending arm injury.

Line, 27, played 12 games for the Saints in 2017 and was the lead blocker for tailbacks Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Line had just seven carries for 28 yards as well as two receptions for 8 yards and a touchdown in 2017. He also scored on a 1-yard run in the wild-card playoff win over the Carolina Panthers.

–The Baltimore Ravens have bolstered their depth at quarterback with the addition of Robert Griffin III, but the move does not preclude the team from selecting a rookie at that position in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Ravens own the 16th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, which will be held on April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

–New Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks said he felt “blessed” in his introductory press conference.

“I’m extremely blessed for this opportunity to be part of a special organization that’s on the rise,” Cooks said. “As far as making this home, absolutely I would love to do that, and at the end of the day that will take care of itself. I just want to go to work and help this team win.”

–The Houston Texans added another quarterback to their roster by signing Joe Webb. Webb’s agent, David Canter, announced the signing via Twitter.

Webb joins Brandon Weeden and Taylor Heinicke as players competing to be the backup to Deshaun Watson.

Webb also can contribute on special teams. He played in all 17 games for the Buffalo Bills last season, playing 39 snaps on offense and 278 on special teams.

–Quarterback Kevin Hogan has requested and received permission for his agent to seek a trade from the Cleveland Browns, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.

Hogan is bidding to join fellow quarterback Cody Kessler in finding his way out of Cleveland, which traded the latter to the Jacksonville Jaguars last week for a 2019 conditional seventh-round pick.

–The Tennessee Titans unveiled their new helmet and uniforms in front of several thousand fans in downtown Nashville, Tenn.

With quarterback Marcus Mariota in tow on Wednesday, the Titans revealed their navy blue helmets with a two-toned silver stripe and silver facemask. The Titans previously wore a white helmet with a blue facemask and two navy blue stripes from 1999-2017.

The jerseys feature the same colors, but each numeral also includes a little triangular point at the upper-right corner to evoke the northeastern tip of Tennessee.

–Guard Richie Incognito publicly severed ties with his agents mere weeks after he accepted a pay cut to remain with the Buffalo Bills.

“@AthletesFirst You are Fired! I wish you guys nothing but the best moving forward. Thank you for all of your help and guidance along the way. It’s time for me to go in a new direction,” Incognito posted on Twitter.

Incognito agreed to terms with the Bills last month, but saw his base salary reduced last month from $6.325 million to 3.65 million — albeit with a $1 million roster bonus. The decision cleared $1.675 million in cap room for the Bills.

–Wide receiver Justin Hunter and running back Stevan Ridley signed one-year deals to stay with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team announced.

Hunter had four receptions for 23 yards and a touchdown while playing in seven games for the Steelers in 2017 after joining the team as a free agent.

Ridley signed with the Steelers last December and rushed for 108 yards on 26 attempts in the final two games of the regular season.

–Free-agent wide receiver Eric Decker plans to visit the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

Decker recorded 54 receptions for 563 yards and one touchdown in 16 games with the Tennessee Titans in 2017.

–Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson said on he’s fully recovered from his wrist injury and will be at top speed for the start of OTAs.

Johnson has been fully cleared after a wrist injury limited him to one game in 2017. There were reports that he might return late in the 2017 season, but it did not happen.

–The Cardinals announced that they have claimed quarterbacks Alek Torgersen and Brandon Doughty off waivers.

Torgersen was waived by the Detroit Lions after they signed Matt Cassel on Wednesday, and Doughty was waived by the Miami Dolphins the same day.

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