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#NFLRANK: The top 100 players

Who is the best player in the NFL: J.J. Watt or Aaron Rodgers? Our 70-plus voters settled that and plenty of other debates in this year's ranking of the top 100 players.

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7hJeff Legwold

Montee Ball: 'I'll show them what I can do'

Having been relegated to the No. 4 running back role in Saturday's preseason game, Montee Ball hopes to remind the Denver Broncos of his value.

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Rodak: Quarterback choice is classic Rex Ryan

Instead of playing it safe at quarterback, Bills coach Rex Ryan is rolling the dice with the unproven Tyrod Taylor as his starter. It's a move that aligns perfectly with Ryan's bold style.

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Seifert: Rules changes and points of emphasis for 2015

Offsetting penalties for in-game fighting? Not anymore. Expect to see scuffles -- mild or otherwise -- result in ejections this season. That's not the only rules/procedural change in store.

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1dJane McManus

McManus: NFL fine system harsh on defenders

In a game geared toward offense, NFL defenders often feel helpless as they bear the brunt of the league's fine system, writes Jane McManus.

RG III can't catch a break (1:08)
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23hJean-Jacques Taylor

Taylor: Claiborne must make most of his chance

With Orlando Scandrick lost to injury, Morris Claiborne has a shot at starting in the Dallas Cowboys' defensive backfield. First, he must improve his technique, route recognition and playmaking.


Paul Gutierrez ESPN Staff Writer 

Darnell Dockett suffered "cracked cartilage" in his ribs, not a broken rib, 49ers coach Jim Tomsula said. "If it was bone, we're talking about something else (more serious)."

Paul Kuharsky ESPN Staff Writer 

Epic argument between Chance Warmack and Michael Griffin over who would win, 2012 Alabama or 2005 Texas. Only way to win is not to play.

Paul Gutierrez ESPN Staff Writer 

49ers coach Jim Tomsula announced his first-string offensive line, with a surprise at right guard: LT Joe Staley, LG Alex Boone, C Marcus Martin, RG Jordan Devey, RT Erik Pears. Devey was recently acquired in a trade. "There's a calmness about him playing in a game," Tomsula said of Devey.

Jamison Hensley ESPN Staff Writer 

Ravens TE Maxx Williams, who has been wearing a red noncontact jersey for over a week, should be ready for the season opener, coach John Harbaugh said

Manziel was flagged during draft prep

One NFL team flagged Manziel with tendinitis in his throwing elbow -- commonly known as tennis elbow or golfer's elbow -- during the 2014 NFL draft, a source with direct knowledge of that team's draft evaluations tells ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. Story

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It's never too late for fantasy football

The NFL season may be only 10 days away, but it's the right time to sign up for fantasy football and start building your winning team. Play for free

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

The Chicago Bears held out a dozen players on Tuesday, the team's final open practice of the preseason. The list of unavailable players included: running back Matt Forte, quarterback Jimmy Clausen, left tackle Jermon Bushrod and wide receivers Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Royal and Marquess Wilson.

Starr's wife, son recall Ice Bowl

Ian O'Connor: "As Starr took his team down the field, Cherry said, “I was scared to death. I really didn’t think we could do it.” Bart Jr., 10 years old and wrapped in a blanket, was sitting with friends near the opposite end zone and feeling a much different vibe." 'He’s going to find a way’

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Steelers restructure 3 contracts

The Steelers have restructured the contracts of WR Antonio Brown, TE Heath Miller and K Shaun Suisham, creating nearly $6 million of cap room for this year, league sources tell ESPN's Adam Schefter. The team plans to use the majority of the extra cap room to offset the large number of injured players that have been counting against the Steelers' salary cap.

Jamison Hensley ESPN Staff Writer 

Banged-up Ravens rookies: WR Breshad Perriman (knee) will miss entire preseason and TE Maxx Williams remains in red noncontact jersey

Rob Demovsky ESPN Staff Writer 

Randall Cobb isn't practicing but the Packers still believe their standout receiver has a good chance to be ready for Week 1, as we reported on Sunday after tests on his sprained shoulder showed no serious damage.

Mike Triplett ESPN Staff Writer 

Saints are placing veteran DE Anthony Spencer on injured reserve, source confirms. The Saints signed the former Cowboys Pro Bowler to a vet-minimum deal this summer, reuniting him with defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Spencer, who has been trying to bounce back from a major knee injury since 2013, showed some early flashes with Saints. But he's been out with an unspecified injury since the preseason opener.

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Bill Belichick deflects all questions about uncertainty at QB. "Practicing with all players that are out there. Have good depth at (QB)."

Vaughn McClure ESPN Staff Writer 

Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews (back strain) not practicing for the second straight day. Also sidelined are Devin Hester (turf toe), Brooks Reed (groin), Justin Durant (foot), and Antone Smith (hamstring), among others.

Rich Cimini ESPN Staff Writer 

TE Jace Amaro has a torn labrum and will have surgery, the Jets announced. He will be placed on season-ending injured reserve. The former second-round pick, hurt in the first preseason game, was expected to be used as an H-back Rex Ryan will be disappointed.

Fantasy Focus Football: Thomas a risk

Given the news that Jaguars TE Julius Thomas will miss 4-5 weeks due to hand surgery, Matthew Berry says that Thomas is not draftable in redraft leagues. Listen: Case for Kirk Cousins

AP Photo/John Raoux

David Newton ESPN Staff Writer 

The Carolina Panthers made it official that wide receiver Jarrett Boykin and cornerback Melvin White have been released. Boykin was signed as a free agent from Green Bay, but didn't catch a pass from starting quarterback Cam Newton in three preseason games. White started 17 career games, including the opener last season. Neither move was a big surprise.

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Bill Belichick says team still has a lot of decisions to make relative to final 53-man roster. Lots of moving parts.

Harbaugh has message for lip readers

Was John Harbaugh dropping F bombs at Jay Gruden on Saturday? Some lip readers think so, but Harbaugh has a message for them: "There's more than one word to the English language that begins with F." Was it 'football?'

Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

Mike Reiss ESPN Staff Writer 

Bill Belichick arrives at podium and says, "Ready for September?" Says team has started preparations for the Steelers. On QB reps being split, says he will do what's best for team but doesn't detail plans.

Rams cut CB who punched Dez Bryant

CB Imoan Claiborne, who had an interception in the preseason opener and was a part of the brawl with the Cowboys. Coach Jeff Fisher called Claiborne a practice squad candidate, but St. Louis kept two other undrafted rookie corners ahead of him in the preseason finale so it isn't a sure thing that Claiborne will stay with the team.

Mike Wells ESPN Staff Writer 

Colts coach Chuck Pagano said they're still waiting on more information on Art Jones' injured ankle. Receiver T.Y. Hilton is still going through the concussion protocol.

Michael Rothstein ESPN Staff Writer 

Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell said wide receiver and returner are two spots where the fourth preseason game could matter for determining a roster spot. Asked for an old example, he said Blair White won a roster spot in Indianapolis based off a fourth preseason game performance.