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Doug Marrone on Blake Bortles: We're looking for more

INDIANAPOLIS -- If you're Jaguars coach Doug Marrone, there's one big positive to getting a new deal for Blake Bortles hammered out before the NFL Scouting Combine: Fewer questions about Blake Bortles.

With Jacksonville's starting quarterback inking a three-year, $54 million deal over the weekend, the Jaguars officially eliminated themselves from the race for free-agent passer Kirk Cousins.

Marrone told reporters he was "excited" for Bortles, but acknowledged the new money does nothing to lift the pressure off a player who must improve to keep his starting role for the long haul.

"Obviously, when you give a player a contract, obviously we're looking for more, which we always are," Marrone said Wednesday. "No different than any other position, that we need to come in and we need to play better than we did before."

Said Marrone: "We're looking to see great improvement from him going into this next season."

*-- Marc Sessler *

Here's more news from the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday:

New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman sounded like a man who won't be heavily shopping his No. 2 overall pick. While the general manager wouldn't say if he's leaning toward taking a QB, he would need to be bowled over by an offer to ship out Big Blue's top selection.

"If someone makes me an offer I can't refuse would I move back? It depends on who is there," Gettleman said. "Because, again, if there is a guy worthy of being the second pick of a draft, and what we're basically saying if we answer that question to the affirmative: you're drafting what you think is a Hall of Fame player. So you can't get too cute about the whole thing."

-- Kevin Patra

Rick Spielman did a superb job on Wednesday of saying ... nothing

Nothing about Minnesota's rumored plot to pursue Kirk Cousins; nothing about the fate of Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater or Sam Bradford -- and really nothing at all about the quarterback position.

It marked a savvy bit of handiwork by the Vikings general manager, who opened his Wednesday presser at the NFL Scouting Combine by telling a pack of reporters: "There have been no decisions made."

Spielman dismissed the "thousand reports out there on how we're going to move forward," saying the club is still evaluating how to proceed with last year's pack of quarterbacks before free agency launches on March 14.

If the Vikings have eyes for Cousins, Spielman carefully dodged any evidence of their plans to lure him to Minnesota, which comes as little surprise. These combine pressers, more often than not, serve as an active factory of coach-speak and white noise.

Answers will come -- but not today.

-- Marc Sessler

Will Teddy Bridgewater's contract toll -- or won't it?

The wait continues to find out if the Vikings quarterback will hit free agency or remain under contract for one more season in Minnesota.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday that Bridgewater is expected to become a free agent, but the league says no official decision has been made yet.

Asked about Teddy's fate on Wednesday, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman stated that he doesn't believe the quarterback's contract will toll, but -- like the rest of us -- he's just waiting to hear.

"I will leave that to the league," Spielman said. "I'll let the league respond to that."

-- Marc Sessler

McCarthy on Ty Montgomery: 'He's a running back'

Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy slammed the breaks on any discussion of moving Ty Montgomery back to wide receiver.

McCarthy said Montgomery's versatility as a running back is an asset to the team, but noted the fourth-year pro needs to stay healthy.

"Probably the most important statistic for me in evaluating players as far as you move forward to the next season is availability," McCarty said. "...None of our running backs this year were available for the whole season, so that's the first hurdle. That's the first challenge that they need to meet.

"In Ty's particular case, his availability the last three years has been his challenge. But he's a multi-positional player. So he's a running back, to answer your question. But he gives us great flexibility to use him so many different ways. So that won't change. We're going to need all those guys next year. That's going to be our approach."

-- Kevin Patra

Colts brass confident Luck will play in 2018

Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard said he has no doubt that quarterback Andrew Luck will be ready to play this season," NFL Network's Steve Wyche relayed.

Ballard said Luck has not thrown but is making progress. However he did not indicate when the QB will commence throwing.

In other Colts news, the team is letting veteran running back Frank Gore hit free agency next month. Gore joined the Colts in 2015 after ten seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.

Gore expressed his frustration with the Colts' offense last offseason citing he felt that he was going "backwards" in Indy.

-- Andie Hagemann

Falcons will exercise Vic Beasley's fifth-year option

Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said the team plans to exercise linebacker Vic Beasley's fifth-year contract option ahead of the May 3 deadline.

Selected eighth overall in the 2015 NFL Draft, Beasley had five sacks last season after exploding for 15 sacks in 2016 while playing at linebacker. Beasley is slated to return to defensive end for 2018. A strong 2018 season could net Beasley a big pay day before he's slated to hit the free-agent market in 2020.

-- Austin Knoblauch

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