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Lions trade starting safety Quandre Diggs to Seahawks



The Detroit Lions traded starting safety Quandre Diggs and a 2021 seventh-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2020 fifth-round pick on Tuesday.

Diggs had been a starter for the Lions since 2017 at slot cornerback and safety. Over the past two seasons he had become one of Detroit’s most reliable players in the secondary, along with Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay.

Diggs, 26, was a Pro Bowl alternate last year after a 78-tackle, three-interception season with eight passes defended. This season, he missed one game and part of another due to a hamstring injury, but had been on the field for a high percentage of snaps otherwise.

He wasn’t playing as well as he did in 2018, but still had 20 tackles through five games for the Lions.

The Seahawks already have a logjam at safety, although starter Bradley McDougald is dealing with back spasms that kept him out Sunday against Baltimore and Lano Hill is expected to miss at least another week with an elbow injury. Rookie second-round pick Marquise Blair impressed coach Pete Carroll on Sunday while making his first career start. Free safety Tedric Thompson, meanwhile, allowed a 50-yard completion on Baltimore’s first possession that Carroll lamented as a “big mistake.”

“I hate that we gave them that,” Carroll said. “There’s no way that should ever happen.”

The Seahawks have an additional 2020 fifth-rounder from the Nick Vannett trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Trading Diggs means the Lions are likely to start third-round pick Will Harris at safety along with Tracy Walker, who replaced the retired Glover Quin in the lineup this season.

Detroit does have an abundance of safeties to use with Walker. Besides Harris, both veteran Tavon Wilson and rookie C.J. Moore could see more work in the defensive backfield, particularly in nickel and dime packages.

But moving on from Diggs makes this the second consecutive season in which Detroit traded a player who was popular in the locker room and with fans. Slay was among Lions players to react on Twitter, calling the trade “bulls—” in one of his tweets.

Last year at the trade deadline, the Lions sent Golden Tate to Philadelphia for a third-round pick. Tate returns to Detroit on Sunday to play the Lions with his new team, the Giants.

Unlike Tate, Diggs was not in the final year of his contract when Detroit traded him. Diggs signed a three-year, $20.4 million extension last season. He is under contract until 2021 and has cap hits of $6,991,666 in 2020 and $7,341,668 in 2021, but no guaranteed money in either season.

ESPN’s Brady Henderson contributed to this report.

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Philadelphia Eagles honorary captain Jon Dorenbos talks life, death, fathers and forgiveness



On Sunday, Jon Dorenbos will serve as the Philadelphia Eagles‘ honorary captain for their Super Bowl LII rematch against the visiting New England Patriots (4:25 p.m. ET, CBS).

Dorenbos was in the winning locker room the night the Eagles captured their first Vince Lombardi Trophy in February 2018, though not in the capacity he had envisioned. Still recovering from life-saving heart surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm, a condition that was discovered shortly after he was traded to the New Orleans Saints the previous September (which ended his football career), he was invited to join his former teammates in Minneapolis for the Super Bowl festivities by Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie.

The long-snapper, now 39, was later presented with a players championship ring — another sign of the respect he earned during his 11 seasons in Philadelphia.

Dorenbos has been busy since the previous Eagles-Patriots matchup. On top of career as a magician, Dorenbos has written a book called “Life is Magic,” which details his extraordinary journey, including how football and magic helped him through tragedy after his father, Alan, murdered his mother, Kathy, when he was 12 years old (Aug. 2, 1992).

He opened up to ESPN about his life experiences, including sitting down with his dad earlier this year — for the first time since his mother’s death. This Q&A has been edited for clarity and brevity.

There’s so much to document, Jon, in your journey. If I had to ask you the most extraordinary thing that happened to you, what would you say?

“Sitting down with my dad a few weeks before my daughter was born. Having lunch with him for about 5½ hours and then forgiving him in the moment I was about to become a father. Of all the things, that was pretty intense and life-changing.”

How did it change things?

“It was the idea of having closure in my past life, having peace, and it was taking the worst thing that has ever happened to me and trying to find some sort of silver lining. That good was basically me reliving that relationship and those emotions from what had happened when I was a kid, and looking at my dad and realizing all the things we missed out on, the things that should have been that weren’t, and finding motivation within that. Realizing the dad I wanted to be, realizing how I could do it differently than what my dad did, and being there for my daughter in ways he wasn’t there for me. That was pretty powerful.”

Where did you have that lunch, and what were the circumstances around that?

“Spokane, Washington. I had a [magic] show in Canada, in Calgary, and I was actually going to [Las] Vegas, and it just so happened that I could stop in Spokane, so I reached out to him and said, ‘Hey, it’s been a long time. I don’t want anything from you, don’t have any expectations, but if you’d like to meet and grab lunch or something and talk, let me know.’ And he said he’d love to. He was living outside Spokane, and so I stopped on the way to Vegas and we sat and talked for about 5½ hours.”

How long had he been out of jail by that point?

“He had actually been out longer than he was in. He went in in 1992 and was released in 2004.”

Alan Dorenbos served 11 years of a 13-year sentence for second-degree murder of his wife, Kathy, before being released from a Washington state penitentiary.

Did you get any further clarity on why what happened, happened?

“Interesting question. I had no idea what to expect. I kept my expectations to a minimum. But I realized that my journey going to see him had nothing to do with validation from him. I didn’t need answers or reasons.

“I’m going to take you way back. So, I’m now 12 years old. My sister [Kristina] and I are in the most intense therapy you can imagine. One of the things our therapist wanted us to do was see the autopsy photos of my mom. And everyone thought [the therapist] was crazy. Sure enough, during the trial they angled the photos so only the jurors could see them. My therapist went back to court and he got a private court order for my sister and I to have a private viewing of autopsy photos and we became the first minors to have a court order to do so. We went to the district attorney’s office, and I’ll never forget this: She came in and put the folder on the table and she looked at the therapist and was like, ‘I just don’t understand why you’re doing this to these children. I don’t get it,’ and she left.

“The therapist stands up and looks at my sister and I, and he goes: ‘Everybody thinks I’m crazy because I want you guys to see these pictures. But the reality is I don’t care whether you look at them or not, but why should it be anybody else’s decision but yours? It’s your life. But I’ll tell you this: Even though it’s not a very popular thing right now to think about, you might want to see your dad one day. If you look at these pictures, the reason you might want to see your dad one day is going to be for reasons other than what happened, because this right here? This is what happened.’ So he leaves, and I looked at the pictures. And I never thought about them until, sure enough, I’m about to become a dad and I reached out to him, and I realized I’m reaching out to him for other reasons than wanting to know what happened.

“What he said is less important than what came out of that lunch. … Don’t debate him. Don’t argue with him. It’s not about him. … I would ask him, ‘Hey, what happened?’ And then, nothing really, he kind of dodged [it]. And then I would pull back, too, and say, that’s not why I’m here. Stay on course. And so, sure enough, I said, ‘Hey, I forgive you for being lost. I forgive you for making a mistake. Both of which I have made many. And I’m out.’ There really wasn’t much said of substance in that conversation. It was basically two strangers meeting. It was super intense. At times it was awkward. But I just needed to say three words out loud and that’s, ‘I forgive you.'”

“Just because I forgive my dad, it doesn’t mean I agree with what he did. It doesn’t mean I’m OK with what he did, but what it means is I’m at peace with what he did. I can’t change it.

“I had two choices: You either fall off the edge of the cliff and everyone in the world makes excuses for you and say, ‘If you would have known what he went through as a kid, you’d understand why he is that way.’ I’m not going to be that guy. Instead, I want people to see my last name and think of something other than what my dad did and bring pride to my name and bring pride to the world that my little girl is going to be in.

“This idea of having lunch with my dad was pretty deep. I was 13 years old when I moved to California and I was just becoming a teenager and it’s kind of the age your dad’s going to show you how to be an adult, right? I never got to have lunch with my dad in, like, an adult setting. When my daughter was born, that was the first thing that I told her: ‘You’ll forever be able to have lunch with your daddy, and you’ll never look at me the way I looked at mine.’ “

Take me into that moment of meeting your dad.

“We met at the Safari Room in Spokane. There was other people there. It was around lunchtime. It’s funny, if you would have walked by our table, you probably would have thought, ‘There’s a father and a son having lunch just like they probably do every Tuesday.’ It was quite the opposite.”

Who got there first?

“I got there first. As soon he walked in, I recognized him. I knew he was up in the Washington area, and for years, every time we’d play the Seattle Seahawks, I’d look around. I wasn’t expecting to see him, but I was just wondering like, ‘My God, what if I saw my dad here? Would I recognize him? What would I feel? What would happen?’ And obviously I never did, but I definitely recognized him. He walked up to me and said, ‘Man, you got big.’ And I looked at him and I said, ‘Man, you got old.’ He’s 70 now, you know.”

When people have a high degree of ambition to reach the top of their profession, as you have done now with multiple careers, there’s often a driving force. What is yours?

“A deep sense of pride. When I was with teams, that became my family. … I always wanted people to see my last name and just know they can count on me. … If I showed up every day and worked hard and I executed and I came through and I got the job done, then maybe the people who took a chance on me, maybe when it wasn’t popular — I was too small, too slow, whatever it was — that the people that took a chance on me would snicker at the rest of the world and say, ‘Holy cow, I made the right pick.’ When [former Eagles coach] Andy Reid would walk by me and I’d play through torn ligaments or hernias or whatever it was, and just give me the head nod — the head nod to me is the ultimate sign of respect in any field.”

The time around when you were traded from the Eagles to Saints was a defining point — you almost lost your life. Tell me about the emotions going on as you discover you have something wrong with you.

“[Eagles general manager] Howie Roseman came up to me and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to trade you or do something here.’ I think he thought I was going to be upset. But I took a second and I just took a deep breath and I realized, ‘What do I have to be angry about?’ This organization gave me 11½ years. Way longer than the average player in the league. The memories, the people. It is what it is. This is my reality. And so I kind of stepped back and I actually was like, ‘Wait, what did you say?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, we got offers for a trade for you.’ And the first thing I told Howie was: ‘Wait, has there ever been a long-snapper that’s been traded?’ And I think he was kind of taken back, and he goes, ‘I don’t think so.’ And I was like, ‘What are they willing to trade for?’ He said, ‘They’re willing to trade a draft pick.’ I go, ‘Holy s—. We’re breaking records here.’ [Long-snappers] get cut. We don’t get traded for. I was like, ‘You know what, man, if it’s my time, it’s my time. … We basically shook hands and parted ways.

“I go down to New Orleans, I play in a game, I take a physical, and that’s when they said, ‘Hey, we’re going to send you on down to the hospital and take some tests.’ Well, now I’m going back to the locker room, we’re about to get ready for practice and the cardiologist called me and said, ‘Hey, I don’t know how to tell you this but you’re never playing football ever again, and you’re going to be in emergency open-heart surgery probably within the next 48 hours. I said, ‘What? Excuse me?’ I was 37 years old at the time, I had just been traded, I had a three-year extension for more money than I ever signed for, and like, I’m playing with Drew Brees and it was a new challenge I was excited about.

“Your initial reaction is to play the victim card. You get upset. You think about all the hard work it took me for this career, the relationships, and I actually had this overwhelming feeling that I was letting the Saints down, which ultimately is what kind of drove me and inspired me to be who I am — is to show up for the guy that hired you and make sure when they look back that’s there’s nobody else that they would have wanted. … And the team was amazing. [Saints coach] Sean Payton was like, ‘Hey, man, I’m happy we saved your life.’

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Ex-Browns OC Todd Haley — Melee ‘falls squarely’ on Freddie Kitchens



Following Myles Garrett‘s indefinite suspension, former Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Todd Haley expressed his belief that the incident was a reflection of coach Freddie Kitchens’ leadership.

“This to me, this comes back to coaching,” Haley told SiriusXM Radio on Friday. “This falls squarely right on the head coach. Because the head coach talks to every assistant coach, who then talk to their groups of players. And there’s an old saying in coaching: ‘You’re either coaching it or you’re allowing it to happen.'”

Garrett was suspended following Thursday’s melee in which he ripped the helmet off Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph before swinging and hitting him in the head with it. Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi also was suspended one game for shoving Rudolph in the back and to the ground.

A source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that Garrett will appeal the suspension.

Haley said he didn’t view what happened Thursday as a “fluke” incident.

“If you’re not coaching it, you’re allowing it to happen, and when I watch the Cleveland Browns, I see a lot of stuff being allowed to happen, whether it’s clown shoes, visors, whatever it may be,” Haley told SiriusXM. “Myles Garrett hitting the quarterback low, hitting the quarterback in the head, it’s happening too much.”

Haley said the discipline problem has existed for the Browns for a few years.

Haley’s comments also come with some baggage. He was fired as Browns offensive coordinator in October 2018 after less than one year on the job, with Kitchens taking over the role before being hired as head coach after the season.

Asked about Haley’s comments Friday, Kitchens declined to engage.

“I don’t really give much thought into what Todd says,” Kitchens said. “I’m not even gonna respond to it. I know the way we continue to talk about maintaining our composure, and we have to do a better job of maintaining our composure — everybody.”

Shortly after the NFL’s ruling, Browns owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam issued a statement saying what happened Thursday was “not reflective of the core values we strive for as an organization.”

Kitchens said the team will continue to support Garrett.

“He understands the magnitude of what occurred last night, and he’s very remorseful, he’s very sorry for his actions,” Kitchens said. “He understands that he let himself down, that he let his teammates down, he let his organization down.

“We look at our team as a family. And in a family, sometimes family members make mistakes. You support them in every way that you can, even if it’s an egregious mistake.”

Information from ESPN’s Jake Trotter and Brooke Pryor was used in this report.

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Fantasy fallout: Trade for Titans’ Derrick Henry while you still can – NFL Nation



It looks like “Derrick Henry season” has arrived a little earlier this year.

The Tennessee Titans’ workhorse running back busted loose for 188 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries last week. His 33.1 fantasy points in ESPN’s PPR scoring were the second-most of his career — behind only the monstrous 47.8 points he scored in Week 14 last season, when he exploded for 238 yards and four TDs.

And ESPN Titans reporter Turron Davenport predicted more big days to come as he expects Tennessee to rely on its 247-pound closer much like it did late last year.

“His role is going to increase down the stretch, even though it already has been a significant one,” said Davenport, who recommended Henry as a fantasy trade target with ESPN’s standard trade deadline approaching a few days after the Titans’ Week 11 bye. “I’m not saying he’ll have a December like last season, but expect a strong showing.

“The Titans want their identity to be a physical football team, and there is really no better way to establish that than to give Derrick Henry the football. They are also doing more to get him involved in the passing game. He is getting more game reps lining up over the numbers in empty formations. And offensive coordinator Arthur Smith likes to dial up screen passes to Henry, which have resulted in touchdowns of 75 yards and 23 yards this season.”

Henry has never been much of a pass-catcher, which has always restricted his value somewhat in PPR leagues. But he did catch three passes for 36 yards and a TD two weeks ago — his most catches in a game since he was a rookie in 2016. And he is already two catches away from his career-high of 15 in a season.

And there is no doubting the Titans’ commitment to giving Henry the ball — as long as they can stay close in games or play with a lead.

Tennessee ran a total of 49 plays in last week’s thrilling 35-32 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. And Henry touched the ball on 25 of them.

Now for the rest of our weekly tour around the league with ESPN’s NFL Nation reporters:

Arizona Cardinals: Cardinals reporter Josh Weinfuss suggested last week that coach Kliff Kingsbury wouldn’t be afraid to go with the hot hand at running back even when David Johnson returned to the lineup. Sure enough, Kingsbury wound up benching Johnson after a third-quarter fumble last week and explained afterward that new RB Kenyan Drake has “brought a little pop to the run game (and) pass game.”

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