The Latest: Kitchens has no qualms about Hunt's signing


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Latest on Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine (all times local):

5:25 p.m.

John Elway says he wants Case Keenum to stay in Denver this season, but he’s given his incumbent quarterback the option of leaving if he wants.

NFL rules prevent Elway from discussing his pending acquisition of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, a trade that won’t become official until the start of the league year on March 13.

But he can talk about Keenum, and he did just that Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine.

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“My preference would be for him to stay,” Elway said.

That would require a contract restructure. He’s due $18 million this season, including $7 million guaranteed.

Elway said his desire to keep Keenum isn’t a reflection of what he thinks about this year’s quarterbacks crop.

“That’s not the reason I’m saying we want Case back. I would like Case back because I think he’s a good football player that can help us,” Elway said. “Now, I gave that flexibility to Case.”

Elway also said the Broncos will exercise their options on defensive end Derek Wolfe and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who is returning from a torn Achilles tendon.


5:10 p.m.

Dallas coach Jason Garrett says the Cowboys are standing by defensive end Randy Gregory, who was suspended indefinitely this week for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

It’s the fourth time the troubled player has been banned by the league.

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“The way it’s been explained to me is sometimes relapse is part of rehab,” Garrett said at the NFL scouting combine Wednesday. “Unfortunately, the NFL has this policy that sometimes suspends players in these situations. We’ll continue to try to support him. I know he’s working very hard to get his issues under control.”

Garrett said Gregory is serious about overcoming his substance abuse problem and that’s why the Cowboys aren’t giving up on him.

Coming off his best season, Gregory won’t be allowed to participate in the Cowboys’ offseason program. He can only go to the team’s practice facility to meet with the person in charge of his treatment.

—Reporting by AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton.


4:30 p.m.

New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur gave quarterback Eli Manning a vote of confidence heading into the 2019 season.

“Yeah, at this point I want Eli back,” Shurmur said of the 38-year-old QB who has won two Super Bowls with the team but has struggled recently. “He’s back. Get ready to go with him.

“I think Eli can help us win games. He proved, when the players around him started playing better, that he can play at a very high level and help us win games.”

The Giants went 5-11 last season, when the only productive player on offense was Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley. Manning threw for 21 touchdowns, was intercepted 11 times and sacked 47 times behind a sieve of a line. His 92.4 passer rating ranked 21st overall.

“I fully expect him (back),” Shurmur added. “Again, you’re going to ask me about particular players, Dave (Gettleman, the general manager) will tell you I’m a body collector. I want to keep all the players we have and add a lot of new ones. I really feel that way about Eli.”


3:30 p.m.

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace confirms the team will release embattled kicker Cody Parkey.

Pace says the decision to let Parkey go at the start of the league year March 13 is “performance-based.” He says the Bears will “explore every avenue” to address the position.

Parkey made 23 of 30 field goals during the regular season for the third-lowest conversion rate in the NFL. He was 42 of 45 on extra points.

Six of his misses, counting the playoffs, hit uprights, including a 43-yard attempt in the closing seconds of the Bears’ wild-card loss to Philadelphia at Soldier Field that also ricocheted off the crossbar after being tipped by an Eagles player.

Parkey’s appearance on the “Today” show a few days later did not sit well with the Bears’ hierarchy.

— Reporting by AP Sports Writer Andrew Seligman in Chicago.


2:50 p.m.

Browns coach Freddie Kitchens says he has no qualms about suspended running back Kareem Hunt returning to Cleveland, which is where the former Chiefs star was caught on video shoving and kicking a woman last year.

Hunt is from Cleveland. Kitchens says Hunt’s landing spot isn’t as important as the steps Hunt is taking to “become a better person.”

Kitchens says Hunt has shown remorse over the altercation that led to his NFL suspension and release from the Chiefs late last season.

Hunt signed a one-year deal with the Browns earlier this month, but he’s currently on the commissioner’s exempt list and it’s not known when he’ll be allowed to play in the NFL again.

Kitchens says: “We’ll worry about the football stuff later. Right now we’re in the Kareem Hunt business of making him a better person.”

— Reporting by AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton


1:30 p.m.

Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman says the team will not use its franchise tag on quarterback Nick Foles and instead will let him become a free agent.

Roseman says the decision came after Foles expressed his desire to become a starter during a recent meeting.

Foles was Carson Wentz’s backup each of the past two seasons but finished both seasons as the starter. He was the Super Bowl MVP after leading the Eagles to their first NFL title since 1960 last February. This year, the defending champs lost in the divisional round.

Roseman says the Eagles were “fortunate” to have a top-15 quarterback mentoring Wentz. Foles was a third-round draft pick in 2012.

— Reporting by AP Sports Writer Michael Marot


12:20 p.m.

If the Pittsburgh Steelers trade star receiver Antonio Brown, they’d prefer to send him to a team they don’t play often.

But general manager Kevin Colbert says that calculation could change depending on the offer.

Brown’s future has been one of this offseason’s biggest stories ever since he began openly lobbying to find a new team. Some believe the comments have lowered Brown’s trade value.

Colbert disagrees and says the Steelers are prepared to keep Brown if they don’t get equal value in return for one of the league’s top playmakers.

— Reporting by AP Sports Writer Michael Marot


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