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Eight things to know from Thursday's OTAs

If a pro football team has ever seen a mass exodus to that extent, we are not aware of it.

For that reason, the health of a three-time All-Pro like NaVorro Bowman takes on preponderant importance this year.

After missing the entirety of last season and being eased into the early portion of OTAs, Bowman has shown signs this week that he's recapturing pre-injury form.

The speedy inside linebacker is "seemingly in the backfield on every play" and has "ruined a number of running plays," per the team's official website.

In an otherwise dismal offseason, Bowman's return to greatness offers a glimmer of hope for 49ers faithful.

With several mandatory minicamps wrapping up on Thursday, the Around The NFL crew offered key takeaways for each team. Find those directly below:

Here's what else we learned on Thursday:

  1. After two years on the trade block, Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis was released by the Eagles. The Broncos, Seahawks, Giants and Raiders are among the teams we see as potential suitors.
  1. In need of veteran insurance with Tom Brady facing a four-game suspension, the Patriots replaced third-string quarterback Garrett Gilbert with former Packers backupMatt Flynn.
  1. Two days after Carson Palmer declared himself 100 percent, teammates Larry Fitzgerald and Tyrann Mathieu corroborated, telling reporters that nothing has changed from the Palmer they witnessed early last season prior to a November ACL tear.
  1. In other quarterback news, Texans coach Bill O'Brien disclosed to NFL Media columnist Michael Silver that he would like to choose between Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyerbefore training camp opens.
  1. Latavius Murray is running with the Raiders' first-team offense, as expected. Murray is officially competing with Trent Richardson and Roy Helu for the starting running back job.
  1. Aaron Rodgers raved about Davante Adams's athleticism, praising the second-year wide receiver's "humongous upside." Rodgers had told the FOX broadcast team late in the season that Adams has shown signs of greatness and the "swagger of a No. 1 receiver."
  1. Rodgers wasn't the only quarterback offering wide-receiver testimonials. Eli Manning believes enigmatic third-year wideout Rueben Randle can be a "dominant receiver" and will have a "big year." Thanks to back-to-back 100-yard performances with Odell Beckham drawing extra coverage in the final two games, Randle quietly finished with career highs in catches (71) and yards (938) last season.
  1. Speaking of Beckham, the Giants' superstar plans to join forces with Dolphins slot receiver Jarvis Landry for pregame fireworks in December. FOX Sports' Alex Marvez reported Thursday that the two LSU teammates will stage some type of catching exhibition prior to their Monday Night Football showdown in Week 14.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast welcomes NFL Media's Jeff Darlington to discuss minicamp stories and Conor Orr calls in for the debut of the new segment, "Orr you kidding me?" Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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