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San Francisco 49ers acquire No. 3 pick in 2021 NFL draft from Miami Dolphins, who then trade No. 12 to Philadelphia Eagles



The Miami Dolphins have upended the NFL draft order for 2021, sending the No. 3 pick to the San Francisco 49ers for the No. 12 pick, which the Dolphins then traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.

As a result, the Dolphins finished Friday’s moves with the No. 6 pick in this year’s draft and multiple future first-round picks as part of their haul. Miami also has the No. 18 pick in this year’s draft.

The Dolphins first sent shock waves across the NFL landscape by trading the No. 3 pick to the 49ers in exchange for the No. 12 pick this year, a first- and third-round pick in 2022 and a first-round pick in 2023.

Miami then continued its dealing just a short time later, sending that No. 12 pick, No. 123 and their 2022 first-round pick to the Eagles in exchange for the No. 6 and No. 156 picks in this year’s draft, it was announced.

These blockbuster moves affirm the Dolphins’ insistence this offseason that they are building around quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in 2021, while increasing their flexibility and ability to add elite talent via the draft in future years.

The move also places the 49ers squarely in the mix to draft a top quarterback, but sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that San Francisco is holding on to Jimmy Garoppolo and has no plans to trade him.

“Jimmy is here to stay,” a source with the 49ers told Schefter. “He’s our guy this year.”

The 49ers had been attempting to move into the top five for several weeks now, sources told Schefter. They discussed the Nos. 3-5 picks with the Dolphins, Falcons and Bengals — ultimately deciding to go with No. 3 because they were satisfied with the options that will be there after picks by the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets, sources said.

According to ESPN Stats & Information research, it is the third time the No. 3 pick has been traded over the past five drafts. And the last four times a team has traded to move up to No. 3, it was to select a quarterback.

After a busy free-agent period in which the 49ers were able to keep many of their key free agents, they found themselves with the flexibility to be bold and go find a long-term solution at quarterback.

For the Niners, that’s what this move is about after Garoppolo missed 23 of a possible 48 regular-season starts because of knee and ankle injuries over the past three seasons. Although he isn’t expected to be traded right now, Friday’s move could spur other teams to begin pursuing Garoppolo, who does have a no-trade clause in his contract.

Those offers could come, but the 49ers are OK with the idea of entering 2021 with Garoppolo as the starter and the potential of drafting Ohio State’s Justin Fields, BYU’s Zach Wilson, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance or Alabama’s Mac Jones as the backup.

That would set up a scenario similar to what the Kansas City Chiefs had in 2017, when Alex Smith was the veteran starter before Patrick Mahomes took over the next year. Kansas City dealt Smith to the Washington Football Team for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick after the 2017 season.

The 49ers originally acquired Garoppolo from the New England Patriots for a second-round pick in October 2017. Since then, the 49ers have gone 24-9 in games started by Garoppolo and 5-23 in games under coach Kyle Shanahan without Garoppolo starting.

The Dolphins, meanwhile, have prioritized adding offensive playmakers, and landing the No. 6 pick allows them to still likely have one of the elite playmakers in a class that includes LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase, Alabama’s DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, and Florida’s Kyle Pitts.

Miami has a huge haul from the August 2019 blockbuster trade of Laremy Tunsil to the Houston Texans. In that trade, the Dolphins received the No. 3 pick that resulted in Friday’s two trades, a 2022 third-round pick and a 2023 first-round pick. They also received No. 36 in this year’s draft, plus picks last season that were used to select cornerback Noah Igbinoghene and guard Solomon Kindley in the first and fourth rounds, respectively.

Including last year’s draft, the Dolphins are now on track to have a run of eight first-round picks over a four-year period. Miami also has two picks in each of the first three rounds of this year’s draft — the first team since the 2000 49ers to achieve that.

The Eagles, meanwhile, could now have as many as three first-round picks in next year’s draft, depending on how much quarterback Carson Wentz plays for the Indianapolis Colts this season.

Philadelphia received a conditional second-round pick from the Colts when they traded Wentz to Indianapolis that becomes a first-rounder if Wentz plays 75% of the offensive snaps, or if he plays 70% of the snaps and Indy makes the playoffs.

The third-round pick heading from the 49ers to the Dolphins in 2022 is a compensatory pick for coach Robert Saleh’s hiring by the Jets.

ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe, Nick Wagoner and Tim McManus contributed to this report.

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NFL role worries lawyer for women suing Deshaun Watson



Tony Buzbee, the attorney for the 22 women suing Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, expressed concern to a Houston television station on Wednesday over how the National Football League is handling its investigation.

Buzbee, in speaking to FOX26 in Houston, said “some of the women did not feel like they were being respected” during their first three meetings with NFL investigators, which he told FOX led to him attending the four meeting between the league’s investigative group and his clients.

Buzbee told the television station four of his clients met with the league’s lead investigator, Lisa Friel, and he has “probably four more women who want to meet with the NFL,” but he’s not sure if he’s going to let them speak with the league’s investigators.

In his interview, Buzbee did not say what the league did to potentially make his clients feel that way. Watson is being sued by 22 women in civil court and being investigated by the Houston Police Department into claims ranging from inappropriate touching to sexual assault of massage therapists from March 2020 until March 2021.

“The allegations are very concerning and the league immediately began investigating the matter under the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an email to ESPN on Thursday. “The investigation includes gathering information, monitoring law enforcement developments and conducting interviews with relevant people willing to participate with counsel present.

“Throughout her decades-long career as the chief of the sex crimes unit in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and most recently as the NFL’s special counsel for investigations for the last six years, Lisa has earned a stellar reputation as a consummate professional who conducts investigations and interviews with compassion and fairness in an effort to determine the truth.”

Buzbee also told FOX26 that eight-to-10 of his clients have met with the Houston Police Department and he was pleased with how the Houston PD has worked with his clients. In March, Buzbee had publicly said he wasn’t comfortable with his clients going to the Houston police. After a complainant went to the Houston Police Department, however, an investigation into Watson was opened.

On Thursday, a Houston Police Department spokesperson said “it remains an ongoing investigation” into allegations against Watson, but would not say how many women have spoken with police.

Buzbee also told FOX there are no plans to settle the case between Watson and the women suing him.

ESPN reporters John Barr and Sarah Barshop contributed to this report.

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Tom Brady Sr. says he’s ‘salivating’ over Tampa Bay Buccaneers-New England Patriots Week 4 matchup



Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady couldn’t contain his excitement with the NFL schedule release, posting on Instagram, “9/9 can’t come soon enough” when it was announced the Bucs would play the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Kickoff Game.

His father, Tom Brady Sr., is eyeing a different game though — Week 4 when the Bucs travel to play the New England Patriots, marking his son’s return to Foxborough after leading the Bucs to a Super Bowl win in his first season after 20 seasons with the Patriots.

“I saw the schedule come out last night and I started salivating when I saw that we play the Patriots in the fourth game of the season, and that we’re coming up here to make our record 4-0 after the fourth game,” Brady Sr. said on the “Zolak and Bertrand” radio show on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston on Thursday morning.

Shortly after his father’s surprise radio appearance, Brady tweeted about the game with a nervous grin, saying, “It’s like when your high school friends meet your college friends.”

Brady Sr., who lives in California, called Boston their “second home” and called the Patriots their “second-favorite team,” expressing love for the organization and its fanbase. But he didn’t mince words, showing the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to being competitive.

“We expect to beat the Patriots rather handily, frankly,” Brady Sr. said.

“It’s not a matter of walking out of town and being unhappy. He had a happy 20 years there and most successful 20 years there. Now he’s in another place with another opportunity to win. That’s great. And the Patriots have reloaded and they’re gonna be fit to bear as well,” Brady Sr. said.

“From my take on it, I think it’s gonna be great. I get to have a favorite team in the AFC and a favorite team in the NFC. And then they play on the fourth week of the year. It’s been a really — I’m thrilled for this.”

As far as the possibility of Brady breaking the single-season passing record at Gillette Stadium (Brady is currently 1,154 yards behind Drew Brees), Brady Sr. said, “I think that the fans at Gillette will embrace him until the opening kickoff, and then they’re gonna boo the hell out of him, which is great.

“I think the fans appreciate everything he’s done. I assume that the fans have appreciated everything he’s done for them for 20 years, but at the same time they’re Patriots’ fans, they’re not Buccaneers fans. So while you’re rooting for Tommy, you’re rooting against the Buccaneers.”

Brady Sr. expressed great sentiment for his family’s time in New England.

“How do you do anything but appreciate everything what the Krafts have done for him, and Belichick has done for him? The coaching staff — these guys have been in the trenches for 20 years together,” Brady Sr. said.

But even dad isn’t clear how long his son will continue playing. He signed a contract extension this offseason to free up cap space — which was largely responsible for the Bucs being able to return all 22 Super Bowl starters on offense and defense — and it will keep him in Tampa Bay for two more years. But father time waits for no one.

“While he’s happy now, I think he’s starting to realize that the end of the career is coming to an end and he’s just savoring every moment as he walks down the final stretches — whether it’s next one year, two years, or 12 years,” Brady Sr. said.

According to Vivid Seats, the average ticket price for the game on Oct. 3 is $1,370 with prices as high as $12,000 on Ticketmaster.

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Baltimore Ravens sign Donte Sylencieux, high school teammate of QB Lamar Jackson



OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It may be graduation season, but the Baltimore Ravens have a high school reunion planned for quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Wide receiver Donte Sylencieux, one of nine undrafted rookies signed by the Ravens on Thursday, was Jackson’s favorite target when they played at Boynton Beach High School in Florida. Sylencieux caught 10 touchdown passes in two seasons with Jackson.

Sylencieux totaled 59 catches in three seasons at Graceland University — an NAIA school in Iowa – and is considered a long shot to make the Ravens. Baltimore selected two wide receivers in this year’s draft, including first-rounder Rashod Bateman, and added Sammy Watkins in free agency.

The Ravens are doing and saying all the right things lately as they pursue a lucrative extension with Jackson. General manager Eric DeCosta said the team would work “tirelessly” after the draft to get a new deal done with Jackson, and he recently told the team’s website that Jackson is “the kind of guy you’d be very proud of to have as a son.”

This isn’t the first time the Ravens have reunited Jackson with one of his former wide receivers. In 2019, the Ravens signed Jaylen Smith, Jackson’s top target at Louisville, as an undrafted rookie. Smith was cut before the regular season that year.

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