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    • 150 posts
    September 14, 2018 12:10 PM IST
    It’s OTA time. Otherwise known as Organized Team Activities [url=]Joe Berger Jersey[/url] , it’s basically practice without pads. But they don’t call it practice because the term was coined at a time when practice in the offseason was nearly as intense practice in the preseason/regular season, but without pads.

    Under the climate created by the 2011 labor deal, the OTAs became far less intense and extensive. They nevertheless remain the centerpiece of the offseason program, giving teams a chance to implement their offensive and defensive playbooks, and to commence the process of figuring out who will earn roster spots and starting jobs. So when players who are under contract choose not to show up for these technically voluntary sessions, it’s noteworthy.

    In Philadelphia, where defensive end Brandon Graham has made it clear that he wants a new deal, Graham is expected to show up [url=]Chris Conley Jersey[/url] , according to Tim McManus of However, as Graham recovers from a May 1 ankle procedure, he’s not expected to participate in the practices.

    The Eagles had been trying at times during the 2017 season to get Graham to extend his deal, but the terms weren’t deemed to be sufficiently favorable to Graham to result in an agreement. With Graham now one year away from free agency or the franchise tag, the Eagles may have a greater degree of urgency to get something done.

    Jack Mewhort kept trying to play through knee pain.

    Eventually, the 26-year-old offensive linemen simply couldn’t any more.

    After the Indianapolis Colts gave the oft-injured offensive lineman a second chance last spring, Mewhort abruptly announced he was retiring Wednesday.

    ”I would like to thank the Irsay family and the entire Colts organization for giving me the opportunity to live a childhood dream,” Mewhort said [url=]T.J. McDonald Jersey[/url] , referring to the team owner in a statement released by the team after its morning practice. ”The fans and the city of Indianapolis have treated me like one of their own, and I am forever grateful. Wearing the horseshoe was one of the biggest honors I have ever known, and I will always bleed blue.”

    Mewhort came to Indianapolis as a second-round draft pick in 2014, billed as part of the long-term solution to protecting quarterback Andrew Luck. His promising career started well.

    Mewhort made 14 starts as a rookie, 13 at left guard, one at right tackle, and played well enough in both spots that the Colts moved him to right tackle in 2015.

    Three games into the experiment, it was over. Mewhort’s struggles on the leaky line prompted the Colts to move him back to his old spot [url=]Vontae Davis Jersey[/url] , where he finished the season by starting the last 13 games.

    The devastating knee injuries began in 2016.

    He missed six of the last 10 games that season and all but five games in 2017, finishing both seasons on injured reserve. Even when he did play, he was rarely at full strength.

    Mewhort’s health issues scared most teams away when he became a free agent during the offseason.

    But even after drafting Quenton Nelson with the No. 6 overall pick in April and immediately plugging Nelson into Mewhort’s spot at left guard, the Colts thought highly enough of Mewhort and his potential to take a low-risk gamble. They re-signed him to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million, with an additional $1.5 million available in incentives.

    When Mewhort reported to training camp last week, he sounded confident that with some extra rest he could stay healthy enough to at least win a spot on another revamped offensive line. The Colts were hoping he could provide depth and versatility to the line, even if he didn’t completely regain his old form.

    His comeback attempt officially ended on the same day longtime left tackle Anthony Castonzo was activated from the non-football injury list.

    ”Jack Mewhort gave this organization everything he had in his four seasons with the team,” general manager Chris Ballard said. ”He fought through injuries and played through pain. Jack is a selfless player who always carried a team-first mentality. He is revered among his coaches [url=]Tarvarius Moore Jersey[/url] , teammates and staff, and his leadership will be missed in the locker room. We’re appreciative of Jack’s dedication to the Colts, and we wish him the best moving forward.”

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