<
>

What's trending in the NFL: Inside the back-room dealings that pushed the Rams to LA

play
OTL: Behind the Rams move (6:09)

On Outside The Lines, Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham unveil the results of their extensive behind-the-scenes reporting on the how a final relocation decision was reached. (6:09)

Here are the top stories from Thursday:

In contentious closed-door meetings in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, New York and, finally, Houston, owners belittled, undercut -- even bullied -- one another in ways never before witnessed, according to interviews with more than two dozen owners, league officials, team executives, lawyers and staffers involved in the relocation efforts, many of whom requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the negotiations. More on the power struggle that led the Rams to LA from Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr.

Which players could use a change of scenery? A good place to start is in New York with defensive end Jason Pierre Paul. As Dan Graziano writes: "It's not that Pierre-Paul doesn't love the Giants or that they haven't been supportive of him since his fireworks accident. He does, and they have. But the past year has been so traumatic in so many ways for Pierre-Paul that it's probably best for him to find a fresh start somewhere and just hit the reset button." A player from every team in need of a new home.

Putting together a short list of "fits" for Robert Griffin III must account for the reality that NFL teams think Griffin has more name than game at this point. But as the price for Griffin drops, upside can begin to outweigh risks, making him an attractive option for a team like Buffalo. Mike Sando's five interesting potential fits for RG IIIInsider.

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict's three-game suspension was upheld by appeals officer Derrick Brooks, sources told ESPN's Dan Graziano. Burfict was given the suspension to start the 2016 season for a hit to the head of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown last month in the wild-card round. Burfict received an unnecessary roughness penalty on the play that resulted in a concussion for Brown.

Which teams need to clear the most cap space? Field Yates details the five teams that have have a lot of work to doInsider.

As the league transitions to the offseason, and teams focus on improving rosters for 2016, it's hard to deny that the straightest line to a championship is riding an elite-level quarterback. But it's also impossible to ignore that the past three seasons have rendered that simple plan well short of foolproof. The NFL's top defense has advanced to the Super Bowl in each of those years, and in two of them it slayed an All-Pro caliber quarterback and carried its team to a championship. More from Kevin Seifert.

Titans WR Dorial Green-Beckham averaged 17.2 yards per catch in 2015 -- 2.3 yards more than the second-best rookie (Amari Cooper) -- while working with rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota. He's one of five rookies ready to pop in Year 2, according to Matt BowenInsider.


Best tweet


Best stat

From ESPN Stats & Information research: Cam Newton was pressured (sacked or under duress) on 21 dropbacks in Super Bowl 50. That the most pressures he has taken in a game in his career. His previous high was 17, also against the Broncos in Week 10 of 2012.