The Dallas Cowboys acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders on Monday for a 2019 first-round pick.
“He wanted the player, and he gave me the pick. That’s what it came down to,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said of the phone call from Cowboys president Stephen Jones regarding Cooper.
“I hate to see good players go,” head coach Jon Gruden told ESPN. “I was on the practice field when Reggie came to me and said the Cowboys would do this for a No. 1, and I said, ‘let’s do it. ‘”
The move gives the Raiders five first-round picks over the next two years: three in 2019 and two in 2020. They had already acquired first-rounders in 2019 and 2020 in a preseason deal with the Chicago Bears in exchange for defensive end Khalil Mack.
—Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone announced Blake Bortles will remain the team’s starting quarterback in Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles in London.
“I spoke to both quarterbacks this afternoon and told them that Blake will be our team’s starting quarterback,” Marrone said in a statement posted by the team a day after Bortles was benched in Sunday’s 20-7 loss to the Houston Texans. “I believe this gives us the best opportunity to win.”
According to multiple reports, the team will give Cody Kessler — who replaced Bortles on Sunday — some reps with the first team this week, and Bortles will be on a short leash.
—Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas said he loves playing in Denver but acknowledged his time with the team could be coming to an end, amid reports he could be traded before the Oct. 30 deadline.
“Of course, I want to be here, but I’ve been hearing it the whole season now, so I feel like somewhat it is true, my time here is coming up,” Thomas told reporters. “It’s football, man, it’s business. That’s what happens. It’s happened before. I never think it will happen to me, but I’m like everybody else. It happens once you get older.’’
ESPN reported Sunday that the Broncos have not rebuffed a “handful” of teams that have reached out about trading for Thomas, though Denver plans to keep wideout Emmanuel Sanders.
— The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed linebackers Kwon Alexander and Jack Cichy on injured reserve after each player sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Browns.
An MRI confirmed both injuries. Alexander tore the ACL in his right knee after his leg buckled on a non-contact play shortly before halftime.
“Kwon was playing so well and he’s the heart and soul of our defense,” head coach Dirk Koetter said Monday. “It’s just very unfortunate. Our locker room at halftime was extremely emotional last night.”
—Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill will not play Thursday night at the Houston Texans, head coach Adam Gase confirmed.
Tannehill has missed consecutive games with a right (throwing) shoulder injury and is reportedly facing “an uphill challenge” in his recovery, though Gase said last week surgery is not expected to be an option.
Brock Osweiler will make his third straight start Thursday, this time against his former team. The Texans signed Osweiler to a four-year, $72 million deal in March 2016 but benched him in his 14th game with the team.
—New England Patriots rookie running back Sony Michel avoided serious injury to his left knee, according to an NFL Network report, after going down awkwardly in Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.
According to the report, Michel has a sprained medial collateral ligament and could miss some time, but likely not much after an MRI exam showed no serious damage.
Michel, a 2018 first-round draft pick from Georgia, was helped off the field after his leg was twisted by Bears defensive end Bilal Nichols. Michel fumbled on the play. Before being carted off the field and into the locker room, he gained 35 yards on five touches, bringing his season total to 453 yards on 99 touches.
—The Pittsburgh Steelers returned to team headquarters after their Week 7 bye, again with no sign of disgruntled holdout running back Le’Veon Bell, according to multiple reports.
Previously, Bell told ESPN that he intends to end his holdout at some point to play this season, his sixth in the NFL, and it was speculated he’d be back by now. Bell has refused to sign the team’s $14.54 million franchise tag and wants a new contract. With each week he sits out, he is forfeiting $850,000.
Without Bell, the Steelers are 3-2-1 and in first place in the AFC North. Second-year running back James Conner has emerged as a replacement for Bell, carrying the ball 103 times for 453 yards and seven touchdowns.
—Field Level Media