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Fifteen things to know from Wednesday's OTAs

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If Darren McFadden is poised for a career renaissance as Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones recently suggested, the former Raiders tailback is going to have to beat out Joseph Randle for Dallas' starting job.

After impressing with 343 yards on 51 carries (6.7 yards per carry) as DeMarco Murray's backup last season, Randle has split first-team reps with McFadden to open OTAs this week.

"(Murray) had a good year last year, and I got to sit back and watch a lot," Randle said Wednesday, via The Dallas Morning News, "and I felt like there was a lot of meat left on the bone."

Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan left no doubt that the competition is wide open -- and might remain so throughout the season.

"I don't think there's any reason (Randle) can't have a real productive year for us," Linehan said. "It's really too hard to say what the production's going to be and who's going to get it. We'll let that play itself out as the year goes on, but certainly he's going to have more opportunities to have a more significant role for us and I can't wait to see him do it."

Here's what else we learned from Wednesday's OTAs:

1. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is taking a hard-line stance on Adrian Peterson, sending the message that the disgruntled running back's options are limited to playing in Minnesota or retiring. It's no coincidence that Zimmer dropped the hammer just days after Peterson's camp leaked multiple reports suggesting he still wants a trade and might be willing to sit out training camp in an attempt at leverage.

2. A similar situation is playing out on a smaller scale in Chicago, where tight end Martellus Bennett, seeking a new contract, continues to skip out on voluntary OTAs.

3. Bears running back Matt Forte, on the other hand, reported for the start of OTAs on Wednesday, vowing to report to training camp on time despite the organization's refusal to extend his contract.

4. Broncos coach Gary Kubiak revealed that Peyton Manning will take snaps almost exclusively from under center as opposed to the shotgun over the next three days, per NFL Network's Omar Ruiz. Kubiak explained that Manning has already mastered the shotgun, having used it on 70 percent of snaps last season. That number figures to decrease in Kubiak's run-heavy, zone-blocking scheme.

5. Jets coach Todd Bowles is walking back recent comments from offensive coordinator Chan Gailey suggesting Geno Smith is locked in as New York's Week 1 starter. Although Bowles maintained that it's Smith's job "to lose" and Ryan Fitzpatrick's "to take," he emphasized that there will indeed be competition for the position in training camp.

Smith dropped this gem after practice:

"We always talking about having a short memory as quarterbacks. Mine has had to be one of the shortest in history."

6. Staying in the AFC East, LeSean McCoy missed Wednesday's practice with a minor neck injury. "He's got a little thing like in his neck or something like that," Bills coach Rex Ryan said, "but it's not serious."

7. Buffalo general manager Doug Whaley confirmed preliminary contract talks with star defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, who said Wednesday that his camp is "just waiting to see what the Bills do." Dareus is expected to get paid as a top-five defensive tackle.

8. In other Bills news, veteran nickelback Corey Graham is focusing on the transition to safety following the drafting of second-round pick Ronald Darby.

9. The Giants' top draft pick, Ereck Flowers, lined up at left tackle in place of injured starter Will Beatty. That leaves Justin Pugh at right tackle, with John Jerry re-entering the starting lineup at right guard.

10. The Titans have a new starter at defensive end, with DaQuan Jones displacing Ropati Pitoitua as the starter opposite Jurrell Casey. A fourth-round pick last year, Jones made his first NFL start in the season finale.

11. Tennessee coach Ken Whisenhunt also made it clear Wednesday that he wants second-year running back Bishop Sankey to play at 215-220 pounds this year after tipping the scales at 209 pounds as a rookie. Sankey could certainly use the added power, but he can't afford to lose quickness and speed.

12. Chris McCain, undrafted a year ago, lined up as Philip Wheeler's replacement at strong-side linebacker on Wednesday. McCain has "talent, length, the right mind set," Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey said. "We're excited about the future with him."

13. The Cowboys are without one of their starting linebackers, as Rolando McClain is recovering from a knee scope. As long as he's back by training camp, Dallas will have an upgraded linebacker corps with a healthy Sean Lee and second-year run-stuffer Anthony Hitchens.

14. The Lions have apparently opened the No. 2 quarterback job to competition, as former Boise State star Kellen Moore shared second-team reps with incumbent backup Dan Orlovsky on Wednesday.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses the latest news including Ray McDonald's release and the Adrian Peterson drama with the Vikings. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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