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2022 NFL Scouting Combine Buzz: Jaguars GM Trent Baalke says 'you're always open for business' for No. 1 pick 

NFL Network has you covered with wall-to-wall NFL Scouting Combine coverage each day starting at 1 p.m. ET. Follow along here for some of the best sights, sounds and moments from "NFL NOW at the Combine" and around the NFL.

  • For a second year in a row, the Jacksonville Jaguars own the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. A monumental difference is that there is no Trevor Lawrence. There is no obvious, no-brainer selection for the team. Thus, the Jags and general manager Trent Baalke might be open to dealing. "You're always open for business," Baalke said Tuesday at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. "Now whether we'll be able to move it or not (is the question), but we're very comfortable taking the pick as well. We've got to be prepared for anything in this league, so to say we won't shop it is probably not 100 percent correct, but to say we will is probably not either. So we're gonna see what comes and if something comes our way and it makes sense to us we'll make that decision at that time." If the Jaguars do stay put, it could come down to an offensive tackle to protect Lawrence or a pass rusher to get after his counterpart, with Michigan edge Aidan Hutchinson and offensive tackles Ikem Ekwonu and Evan Neal likely in the mix. "You've got to take the player you think is the best fit for the organization as a whole and makes the biggest difference," Baalke said. "If that's the offensive tackle position, you do it. If that's edge rusher, you do it. I've always been a believer go big or go home, but this draft has a lot of unique players in it. And there may not be that clear No. 1, but there is a lot of very good football players at the top of this draft that obviously being at position No. 1 (we) have our pick of those players."

In other Jags news, they won't be hiring an executive vice president after all. Owner Shad Khan is putting the search on hold, reported NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, after taking part in coaching and planning meetings with new coach Doug Pederson since his hire in February. Jacksonville's eventual hire of Pederson came after a long and winding search, but has resulted in the former Eagles coach quickly earning the confidence of his new boss. Rapoport reported Khan, who released a statement that he was pausing on the consideration of introducing an EVP of football, doesn't want to "impede" any progress the coach is currently making by introducing a new voice in the organization. Jacksonville, however, is still moving forward on its search for an assistant general manager under Baalke; the Jaguars were considering adding former Vikings GM Rick Spielman to the front office, but a move has not been finalized. It's all part of Khan's plan to, as he put it before the Super Bowl, "add brainpower" in Duval.

  • As the NFL world descends upon Indianapolis, everyone's still on Aaron Rodgers watch. Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Green Bay Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst had nothing new to offer on the Rodgers front. "No new updates," Gutekunst said. "But I do think specifically with Aaron he's got a very tough process that he goes through that he gets himself ready to play each season. It's a big commitment, and he's done that for a long time. And it certainly shows with the results. I think he feels he needs to do that to play at the level he plays at. So I know that weighs on him. I know he's going through that now." NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Packers were preparing a short-term deal if Rodgers decided he wanted to return to the franchise, but no decision has been announced. With the start of a new league year on March 16, Gutekunst is expecting to know before then. "I would hope so," he said. "That would be helpful. I would think we'd know something before that." Another prevailing offseason question is what becomes of wide receiver Davante Adams, an impending free agent. Having provided perhaps the best QB-WR combo in the league in recent seasons, the Packers want their wide receiver back in the fold, but his fate isn't directly linked to that of Rodgers, Gutekunst said. "Obviously, we'd like to know as soon as we can," Gutekunst said of Rodgers' decision. "Just because it helps for planning and moving forward. But those two situations are completely different. They're two different players and two different situations."
  • A season ago at this time, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were still celebrating a Super Bowl triumph. Now, general manager Jason Licht is looking at an offseason of mammoth change, led by the retirement of Tom Brady (and offensive lineman Ali Marpet) and the uncertainty of a host of impending free agents such as Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski and Carlton Davis. Is this the beginning of a rebuild or is an opportunity to make another run still there if the right players return to the fold? "We still feel like we have a chance to win this year," Licht said Tuesday on Good Morning Football while at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. "We're in a division where we think we can compete. We have a lot of players that are free agents. We have a lot of priorities. It just depends on how the puzzle fits together. We want to win this year. We want to compete this year for the title, but we also want to keep our eye on the future, too. We don't want to mortgage too much too soon. It's just going to depend on what the market bears, but we're going to bring a lot of these guys back." Licht and the Bucs are moving into uncertain waters in 2022 and they're moving on from Brady. But, of course, there's always a glimmer of hope when it comes to the G.O.A.T. and a potential comeback. "We always leave the light on for a guy like Tom Brady," Licht said.

One of the aforementioned impending FAs is Godwin, who played the 2021 season under the franchise tag. It was a shortened season for Godwin, who tore his ACL and MCL in Week 15. The former Pro Bowl wideout's contract and injury status are hot topics in the offseason, but Licht told reporters Tuesday he would effort to have Godwin, who Tampa Bay selected in the 2017 third round, back with the Bucs. "From what I understand, his rehab is going well," Licht said. "He's been a special player for us. He's really overachieved in relation to where he was drafted and where we got him. It's hard to imagine the Buccaneers offense without Chris Godwin. And we'd love to have him back and we'll work towards that."

  • The Denver Broncos find themselves in a familiar position heading into the 2022 NFL Draft. They have uncertainty at quarterback and they have the No. 9 overall pick, just like they did ahead of the 2021 draft. Denver went with cornerback Patrick Surtain II last season when it could've taken a quarterback (Mac Jones and Justin Fields, for instance, were still available). If the Broncos get to the draft this year without any QB changes to their roster prior to that, they could be a candidate to trade to pick up a quarterback later in the first round or even the second, NFL Network's James Palmer said Tuesday on Good Morning Football. "Keep an eye on them looking at all of these guys and potentially sliding into the backside of that first round, or at the top of the second round. If they like one of these guys enough to make a move, they have the ammunition, and George Paton has the ammunition, to go do that," Palmer said. The 2022 draft class is not seen as being top-heavy at QB, with NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah's latest mock draft seeing just Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett and Malik Willis going in the opening round. So if the Broncos are unable to pull off a blockbuster trade in the offseason for a QB, they might take a chance at making one in the draft. Speaking Tuesday at the combine, Paton let it be known that just about anything was a possibility. "It's always a priority, it's the most important position in sports," Paton said of shoring up the quarterback position. "So we're always looking. We do have Drew Lock under contract, we have (Brett Rypien). But we're always looking. No stone unturned to find that guy. We know we need better play out of the quarterback position and so we're going to be aggressive."

While plenty of attention is focused on the Broncos' QB situation, there's plenty to explore at running back. Javonte Williams is coming off an impressive rookie season (1,219 scrimmage yards) and veteran Melvin Gordon's contract is up. Though Gordon had 918 yards rushing last season, Williams' performance had many pining to see him get more carries. Just as it is with quarterback, Broncos general manager George Paton indicated there are multiple options when he spoke at the combine on Tuesday. "Javonte, we think he's ready to do whatever -- full workload, share carries," Paton said. "The one thing I think Melvin and Javonte really complemented each other well. They helped each other." Thus, while Williams could potentially be a bell-cow back for the Broncos, the door isn't shut on Gordon returning for a committee approach. "Melvin was a total pro with Javonte, and I know Javonte appreciated that relationship," Paton said. "I've had really good discussions with Melvin. We would like to have him back. We still think he's a really good back. I think you need two or three runners in this league. They're going to get nicked, it's a tough position. But couldn't be more happy with Javonte in his first year."

  • Just a month ago, Kansas City Chiefs GM Brett Veach said he expected Orlando Brown to be the team's left tackle moving forward. The question during the early part of the offseason has been for how long. On Tuesday, Veach reiterated the goal is to lock up the three-time Pro Bowler with a long-term extension. "We're gonna work hard to get a deal done with him," he told reporters. It just might not happen by March 8, which is why Veach said it is "likely" that the Chiefs place the tag on Brown. Given how well Brown has transitioned from right tackle to left tackle, and from Baltimore to Kansas City, keeping the 25-year-old star lineman beyond 2022 to protect Patrick Mahomes appears to be a top priority.
  • Mitchell Trubisky served as a nice insurance policy for the Buffalo Bills in 2021. He ultimately wasn't needed to relieve Josh Allen for any extended stretch, but coach Sean McDermott said the former Bears starter was prepared. The backup stint might set him up for an elevated role elsewhere. "I'd love to have him back," McDermott said on NFL NOW. "The reality of it is, it's probably not going to happen. He's going to go be a starter somewhere and provide great opportunity for him and his family. I think that's tremendous. He's earned that." Demand for Trubisky's services could materialize soon. Amid a lukewarm QB draft class and a potentially thin trade market, several teams could view the 2017 No. 2 overall pick as an upgrade over their current options. Pittsburgh, Washington, Denver, Tampa Bay, New Orleans and Carolina are among the teams that have openly expressed interest in adding a signal-caller.
  • There is little poker being played between the Cincinnati Bengals and star safety Jessie Bates. The latter hasn't been shy about expressing his desire to remain in Cincinnati long term, while coach Zac Taylor has said he wants the same thing. So does director of player personnel Duke Tobin. "He's a guy we want going forward," Tobin said of Bates on Tuesday, per NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala. "We want him to be a part of our group. So we'll see what we can do to get that done." A new deal figures to be lucrative for Bates, who turned 25 just a week ago and is coming off a huge surge in the postseason for the AFC champions. The soft deadline for an extension is March 8, by which point the Bengals would presumably tag Bates should a multiyear agreement not be reached.

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