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What we learned: Mathis, Vick finally clock back in

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We don't usually see a high-profile player land with a new team in the last week of August. But that's what happened twice in a span of two hours on Tuesday evening.

We'll start in Denver, where Peyton Manning is no doubt sleeping better tonight. The Broncos signed two-time Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis to a one-year deal, the perfect win-now move for the ultimate win-now team. The Broncos started three linemen without a snap of NFL experience in their most recent preseason game, a disaster in waiting with the 39-year-old Manning behind center.

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Mathis remains an upper-tier guard, and he brings veteran leadership to a positional group that skewed far too green. Mathis and Louis Vasquez represent perhaps the best 1-2 guard punch in the NFL. Not a bad day's work by John Elway, who seems to know how to get every penny out of the salary cap.

The Broncos move was meat and potatoes. The Steelers provided some sizzle with their signing of quarterback Michael Vick. The team obviously wasn't happy to lose Bruce Gradkowski to a season-ending hand injury on Sunday, but Vick represents an upgrade at the position, even at 35 years old and in a state of decline.

Roethlisberger has been a warrior throughout his career, fighting through injuries that would put a less big Ben in the ICU. But the addition of Vick keeps hope in the building if Roethlisberger were to miss substantial time. Vick will never again be the guy he was in Atlanta, or even the QB who emerged from prison with the Eagles. But he still has something, and that could get magnified playing in the best offense he's ever been associated with.

Here's what else happened on Tuesday:

1. The Cowboys lost their top cornerback, Orlando Scandrick, to a torn ACL and MCL Tuesday afternoon, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Obviously it's a huge blow for Jason Garrett's defense.

2. In a post-Jordy world in Green Bay, the Packers appear ready to give Ty Montgomery the first shot at a bigger role.

3. If Michael Bennett thinks he isn't paid fairly, maybe he shouldn't have signed that team-friendly extension with the Seahawks. Blame your agent, not Brian Hoyer.

4. Odell Beckham Jr. thought Jaguars defensive backs were going after him when they should have been going after the ball this weekend. Should he expect more of this?

5. Rex Ryan insists he's cool with the Bills taking an unsettled QB position through the third game of the preseason. "This was the scenario I wanted," he said. Can Rex be trusted with his latest QB hunch? (Jets fans violently shake their heads.) Good news for Rex: Percy Harvin is back on the field.

6. AJ McCarron will be Andy Dalton's backup in Cincinnati. This means curtains for Josh Johnson.

7. Victor Cruz's comeback trail has a momentary obstruction in the form of a balky calf. Tom Coughlin admits he's concerned about the injury.

8. For the second time in three weeks, the Patriots have traded for offensive line help. On Tuesday, the team acquired tackle Michael Williams from the Detroit Lions in exchange for a draft pick.

9. Ryan Mallett lost his competition with Brian Hoyer and he's not happy about it. Kudos to Mallett for not spouting out Jock Speak here.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses Jordy Nelson's knee injury and gives its winners and losers from Week 2 of the preseason.

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