“I think one of the things that every team does when the season is over with and they get to the Combine, they’re looking for ways to…for us improve our defense,” Payton said, via ESPN.com. “You have a specific amount of assets. Might be draft picks or money to spend in free agency.
“Brandin is someone that we think the world of. I love him. Yet, Mickey’s position if you do get a phone call from a team or another team, you’re always going to listen. I think three days ago that speculation started. I understand it.
“As we’re trying to improve on defense, you look at every avenue that might give you that chance. Whether it’s picks or defensive players, Mickey does a good job of handling that and communicating that in the evenings and yet you communicate that like; “Hey we’re not just out here going around the Combine looking to trade Brandin Cooks.’”
- Jordan Raanan of ESPN reports that the Giants are not tendering a contract to restricted free agent RB Orleans Darkwa.
- Darkwa is expected to test the open market, but Raanan adds that a return to the Giants is still a possibility.
- Rob Demovsky reports that Packers C Corey Linsley is recovering from offseason ankle surgery. A source described the procedure as a cleanup of loose particles stemming from his 2015 high ankle sprain.
- According to Demovsky, Linsley is expected to be ready to return by mid-May but there’s the chance Green Bay could hold him out until training camp.
- Bob McGinn mentions that for months he expected the Packers to re-sign veteran G T.J. Lang. However, he now gets the sense that they’re more likely to move on and save the cap space.
- Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, reports that Panthers DT Kawann Short will likely sign his franchise tender in the next few days.
- Short stands to make $13.386 million fully guaranteed for the 2017 season once he signs the tender.
- Ben Goessling reports that the Vikings would like to re-sign P Jeff Locke, but there are “several” other teams are interested in him.