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15 things we learned on Day 3 of NFL minicamps

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We can no longer say that 23 teams continued their minicamps Thursday because several coaches sent their players home to begin summer vacation a day earlier than planned. Around The League collected the relevant quotes, practice updates and news nuggets from Thursday's practices.

Here's what we learned:

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1. It's out with the old, in with the new in the Denver Broncos' backfield. Hours after releasing Willis McGahee in a conscious effort to get younger, the team announced the signing of second-round draft pick Montee Ball. The Broncos are expected to turn to Ball and Ronnie Hillman as their tandem attack, with Knowshon Moreno once again providing veteran insurance.

Unlike the burned-out Michael Turner, McGahee should have little trouble finding a new team before the start of the season.

2. The Arizona Cardinals won't be one of the teams ringing McGahee's doorbell. Reuniting with coach Bruce Arians, Rashard Mendenhall reportedly has a stranglehold on the starting job over Ryan Williams and rookies Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington.

3. Mike Wallace's father revealed that the wide receiver turned down a $76 million offer from the Minnesota Vikings to sign with the Miami Dolphins. Take this report with an entire shaker of salt. The relevant numbers are the signing bonus and guaranteed dollars, which Wallace's father failed to disclose. Throw in Florida's lack of a state income tax, and it's a good bet the offers were similar in value.

4. Ball was not the only big-name rookie to sign Thursday. The St. Louis Rams signed their entire draft class, including first-round draft picks Tavon Austin and Alec Ogletree. Fourth-round picks Matt Barkley and Landry Jones reached deals with the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively. Second-round pick Justin Hunter signed with the Tennessee Titans after missing organized team activities with a hamstring injury.

5. The Jacksonville Jaguars' quarterback situation isn't any prettier this year than last. Noodle-armed Mike Kafka, plucked off the waiver wire Wednesday, will be given the same opportunity as Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne to win the starting job in training camp.

6. Maurice Jones-Drew says his body is "23 in football years" due to playing time lost to injuries and an early-career timeshare with Fred Taylor. For those keeping score at home, that leaves Jones-Drew's body one year older than Steven Jackson's.

7. The back injury that kept Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steven Johnson out of OTAs was a slight fracture of the L-5 vertabra. After taking a cortisone shot and an epidural as part of his recovery, Johnson was back on the field for minicamp.

8. It's become an annual rite of summer in Spartanburg, S.C.: Jonathan Stewart's ankles likely will keep him on the sidelines when the Carolina Panthers begin training camp.

9. Brady Quinn's roster spot is in jeopardy after the Seattle Seahawks brought back Tarvaris Jackson on a one-year contract.

10. Buzz alert: New York Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle is headed for an expanded role after becoming the "bell cow" of the receiving corps in minicamp.

11. Annual disappointment Armanti Edwards has been the most improved player on the Carolina Panthers this offseason, according to coach Ron Rivera.

12. Alfred Morris of the Washington Redskins is as good as any back offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has ever been around. That list includes Houston Texans running back Arian Foster. To be fair, though, Foster's breakout season came the year after Shanahan bolted for the Redskins.

13. Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins continues to earn as many raves as any NFL rookie.

14. How are the Detroit Lions going to keep "outstanding" running back Joique Bell off the field?

15. Pro Bowl MVP Kyle Rudolph stole the show throughout Minnesota Vikings OTAs and minicamp. Other tight ends with dominant offseasons: Jimmy Graham, Jermichael Finley, Ed Dickson and former hoopster Julius Thomas of the Broncos.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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