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NFL notebook: White House points blame at Eagles

The White House pointed the finger at the Philadelphia Eagles following President Donald Trump's decision to cancel Tuesday's ceremony to celebrate their Super Bowl victory.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that team owner Jeffrey Lurie was expected to join a small contingent on the South Lawn at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. before the White House rescinded the invitation on Monday night, less than 24 hours before the scheduled ceremony.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement on Tuesday that the Eagles initially notified the White House on May 31 that 81 individuals would attend the event. The Eagles attempted to reschedule the event late Friday, according to Sanders, but Trump was slated to travel overseas on the team's proposed dates for a ceremony.

--New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman announced that he has been diagnosed with lymphoma.

Gettleman said in part of his lengthy statement that he is expected to start treatment in the "very near future." Gettleman, 67, is entering his first year as general manager of the Giants after holding the same position from 2013-16 with the Carolina Panthers.

"Recently, I underwent an annual physical, during which it was discovered I have lymphoma," Gettleman said. "Over the past week, I have undergone more testing to determine the course of treatment, which is scheduled to start in the very near future. The doctor's outlook for the treatment and the prognosis is positive, and so am I."

--Quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski were in attendance for the start of the New England Patriots' mandatory three-day minicamp at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

Both players elected against taking part in the team's voluntary workouts, leading to reports that they were not on good terms with coach Bill Belichick.

Belichick dismissed that notion during Tuesday's media session, saying that he was happy to have all the players in attendance.

--Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz and defensive lineman Chris Long took FOX News to task after the network showed footage of the team's players praying before a game.

FOX News ran the misleading footage during a segment in which anchor Shannon Bream discussed President Donald Trump's aversion to players kneeling during the national anthem. FOX News has since apologized for what it described as an "error."

The segment aired less than 12 hours after Trump announced that he had rescinded an invitation for the Eagles to visit the White House. FOX News ran footage of the team praying before a game as opposed to kneeling for the national anthem, with some photos depicting players who were not on the team in 2017. The Eagles did not have any players kneel during the national anthem last season.

Ertz took issue with the footage by venting his displeasure over social media.

--Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson signed his rookie contract, the team announced.

As with all first-round picks, the contract is for four years with a team option for a fifth season. Jackson, who was selected with the 32nd overall pick of the 2018 draft, was chosen by the Ravens after the club sent second- and fourth-round picks to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Per Spotrac, Jackson's deal is worth $9.54 million total with a $5.01 million signing bonus. Tight end Hayden Hurst, who was selected with the 25th overall pick of the draft, is the lone Ravens draftee yet to sign a contract.

Jackson, who is the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, passed for more than 3,500 yards and ran for more than 1,500 in each of the final two college seasons at Louisville. He also captured back-to-back ACC Player of the Year awards in 2016-17.

--The Cleveland Browns signed free-agent linebacker Mychal Kendricks to a contract, the team announced.

The Browns did not announce the terms of the deal, but multiple media outlets reported that it is for one year and worth up to $3.5 million.

Kendricks was released in a cost-cutting move from the Philadelphia Eagles on May 22, just hours before they lost fellow linebacker Paul Worrilow to a season-ending ACL injury.

The 27-year-old recorded 77 tackles, 2.0 sacks and six pass breakups in 15 games last season for the Eagles. He has collected 459 tackles, 14 sacks and three interceptions in 85 career contests since being selected by Philadelphia in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

--The Arizona Cardinals have handled quarterback Sam Bradford with kid gloves this offseason but that could change next week.

Bradford, who signed a one-year contract with Arizona in March and is expected to be the team's starter in Week 1, has been a limited participant in organized team activities due to his balky knee.

With the Cardinals set to hold a mandatory minicamp next week, Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks said Bradford is ready to take on an increased workload.

--One day after the Denver Broncos said they were being cautious with Shane Ray's wrist injury, a report out of Denver says the outside linebacker needs surgery.

Ray, who was a non-participant in Monday's organized team activities, faces another surgical procedure that will not be season-ending, according to Mike Klis of Denver 9News, per a source.

Broncos coach Vance Joseph on Monday said the team was taking it slow with Ray, the result of a wrist injury related to one he suffered last season.

"We're taking it slow, just being smart with guys. It's the spring," said Joseph. "Our real goal is to get him healthy for training camp, but right now we're being smart with Shane."

--The Chicago Bears placed Zach Miller on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, one day after the team signed the tight end to a one-year contract.

The move effectively ends Miller's season as he continues his recovery from a life-threatening knee injury that sidelined him for much of the 2017 campaign.

Per Monday's contract, Miller will receive $458,000 in salary this year. He would have made $790,000 had he'd been able to play, although it was unlikely after he underwent urgent vascular surgery to repair a torn artery.

The 33-year-old Miller was carted off the field during the third quarter of the Bears' 20-12 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Oct. 29 and taken from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to the University Medical Center New Orleans.

--The Cleveland Browns made a bit of a surprise pick with their selection of cornerback Denzel Ward at No. 4 overall in the draft in April.

After taking quarterback Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 pick, the Browns had a chance to snag pass-rushing end Bradley Chubb -- considered the consensus best defensive player in the draft -- three selections later.

Instead, they opted for Ward, who starred collegiately at Ohio State. Ward appears to be justifying Cleveland's faith in him, practicing with the first-team defense during the final session of organized team activities.

"Ward being out there is because he's earning it," said Browns coach Hue Jackson after Tuesday's practice. "He's working at it. He plays a position that we've been needing a guy to step up. We see him improving each and every day and doing the things that we're asking."

--New York Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins has been sitting out organized team activities due to a shoulder injury.

It's uncertain whether Jenkins will be ready for the start of training camp next month, head coach Todd Bowles said, per the New York Daily News.

"We'll said," Bowles responded when asked if he expected Jenkins to be healthy for training camp at the end of July.

Bowles would not reveal the nature of the injury for Jenkins other than to say the third-year linebacker is "nicked up." Jenkins started 15 of 16 games last season, recording 46 tackles, 3.0 sacks and a pair of fumble recoveries.

--Hours after he reportedly agreed to terms with the San Francisco 49ers, safety J.J. Wilcox had a change of heart and plans to sign with the New York Jets, according to ESPN.

Wilcox was at the 49ers' team facility with the intent of signing a contract before "he got stage fright" and balked, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported, quoting a source.

The 27-year-old Wilcox, according to the report, decided he wanted to play for New York Jets coach Todd Bowles and boarded a flight to New Jersey.

Newsday, citing a source, confirmed later Tuesday that Wilcox planned to visit Jets.

--Minnesota Vikings veteran defensive end Brian Robison was close to walking away from the game last month.

Now, after taking a pay cut for the second straight year, Robison acknowledged he is fairly certain that the 2018 season with be his 12th and final one in the NFL.

"More than likely, I think it is," Robison told the Pioneer Press on Tuesday during organized team activities. "I've talked to my wife and family about it and the body's just getting to that point.

"I'm not going to make that decision wholeheartedly until probably the season starts, but I would say more than likely it probably will be (his final season). ... If you ask me that in August, I'll have a definite answer."

--The San Francisco 49ers waived defensive back Trovon Reed, the team announced.

Reed was signed to the 49ers' practice squad in December. It was his fifth different organization since signing with the Los Angeles Rams in August 2015.

San Francisco waived Reed five months after signing him to a reserve/future contract on Jan. 2.

--Oliver Luck was named the commissioner and chief executive officer of the XFL, the league announced.

Luck is a former NFL quarterback, ex-president of NFL Europe and the father of Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts. The 58-year-old will leave his leadership role at the NCAA, where he oversaw the organization's regulatory functions, including eligibility requirements and academic affairs.

"Oliver and I share the same vision and passion for reimagining the game of football," XFL founder and chairman Vince McMahon said in a statement. "His experience as both an athlete and executive will ensure the long-term success of the XFL."

Luck will relocate from Indianapolis to the XFL's headquarters in Connecticut as he prepares for the league's relaunch in 2020.

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