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Chris Johnson’s future, Kyle Rudolph’s stature and Colin Kaepernick’s style highlight NFL headlines

Posted Apr 3, 2014

ClevelandBrowns.com takes you around the NFL with the Daily Kickoff. Today’s highlights: Chris Johnson’s agent says the running back isn’t long for the Titans, while 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin defends his quarterback, Colin Kaepernick.

Chris Johnson, Kyle Rudoph, Colin Kaepernick

Look for Chris Johnson to be the next prominent NFL player to end up with a new team in the near future.

That’s the word from Joel Segal, the agent who represents the running back for the Tennessee Titans.

During an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio Wednesday night, Segal said that he expects Johnson to depart the Titans. Although he didn’t specify when, there is strong speculation that Johnson won’t be a part of the team’s offseason workouts that are scheduled to begin Monday.

For the record, Segal also represents quarterback Michael Vick and wide receiver DeSean Jackson, both of whom were recently released by the Philadelphia Eagles and ended up with new teams.

KYLE RUDOLPH: ‘UP THERE’ WITH BEST TIGHT ENDS

When you think of tight ends who generate eye-catching numbers with their catches, Minnesota’s Kyle Rudolph won’t come to mind as quickly as New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham, New England’s Rob Gronkowski, Dallas’ Jason Whitten, and San Francisco’s Vernon Davis.

That is, if the mind in question doesn’t happen to belong to Kyle Rudolph.

“There’s a ton of talented tight ends in our game,” Rudolph told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “You have guys that play at a high level, like Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Jason Witten and Vernon Davis. But I would put myself up there with them.”

As he seeks a contract extension, Rudolph is trying to make a public argument that he is capable of being every bit as prolific as the NFL’s top receivers at his position. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2012, but his cause likely isn’t helped by the fact he missed half of last season with a foot injury.

The good news for Rudolph, though, is that his new offensive coordinator is Norv Turner, who held the same job with the Cleveland Browns last season and did wonders to help Jordan Cameron catch 80 passes for 917 yards and seven touchdowns and reach his first Pro Bowl despite working with three different quarterbacks.

But Rudolph also wants it to be known that he is among the league’s more complete tight ends.

“I feel as a tight end, it’s extremely important to be a guy that can contribute in the running game and also in the passing game,” he said.

BOLDIN SAYS CRITICS ARE WRONG ABOUT KAEPERNICK

When San Francisco 49ers veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin looks at his young quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, he sees a dynamic playmaker who should be admired rather than ridiculed for his unconventional style of play.

“People criticize for him not being a conventional, prototypical quarterback, but there isn’t anything that I’ve seen the prototype quarterback do that he can’t do,” Boldin told Jamey Eisenberg of cbssports.com. “He can make every throw on the field, he’s a smart guy but he’s athletic. When things break down, he’s able to make plays. You just look at the playoffs alone, you see him running wild over defenses.”

As far as Boldin is concerned, Kaepernick has only scratched the surface since becoming a starter during the 2012 season and after his first full year in that role in 2013.

“He’s going to be something to deal with for a lot of years to come,” Boldin said. “He’s still young, he’s still learning, but he’s still willing to listen. He takes advice, but that’s still good.”

JONES-DREW SEES MORE OPPORTUNITY IN OAKLAND

When it came down to finding a new employer, former Jacksonville Jaguars running back had to choose between the Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, and Pittsburgh Steelers.

He told SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio that he picked the Raiders because they were willing to give him the best chance to compete for playing time. And, he said, they structured his contract accordingly.

“On the field, they’re going to give me a chance to compete,” Jones-Drew said. “A lot of teams had already kind of conceded that I didn’t have anything left and all these different questions they may have had. Oakland’s going to give me a chance. And they gave me a deal that shows that with incentives.”

CLOWNEY GETS SUPPORT FROM FORMER TEAMMATE

Questions that have lingered about Jadeveon Clowney’s work ethic are unfounded, according to one of his former South Carolina teammates.

“The guy is an animal on and off the field,” former Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “His work ethic in the weight room, I’ve seen it first-hand. And if you ask any of his teammates from South Carolina they’ll say the same thing.”

Shaw said Clowney was in a “lose-lose situation” with the criticism he heard about his work ethic during a disappointing 2013 season after his amazing 2012 sophomore campaign.

“I think he will be a better NFL player than he was a college player,” Shaw said. “He absolutely wants to be the best. He’s very competitive and when he gets to that next level, he’ll step up to the stage.”

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>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci or by e-mail at daily@clevelandbrowns.com or by calling 855-363-2459.

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