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Russell Westbrook on starting snub: ‘I don’t play for All-Star bids’

Russell Westbrook downplayed his omission from the All-Star Game starting lineup Friday, saying that his primary focus is becoming a better player and winning NBA championships.

Westbrook was not among the Western Conference’s starters, which were announced Thursday, after losing a tiebreaker with Stephen Curry and James Harden. The Oklahoma City Thunder superstar was left out in the loaded West in the NBA’s new voting system, which included players and media for the first time this season.

“It is what it is,” Westbrook said Friday. “That’s the nature of the business, the game. I just play. I don’t play for All-Star bids. I play to win championships, and every night I compete at a high level, and it’ll work out.

“I just continue doing what I’m doing and play the game the right way, and everything else will work out.”

Westbrook was actually tied with Curry and Harden in the points tally after finishing first in the media vote and player vote and third in the fan vote, but Curry and Harden beat him out because the fan vote was the tiebreaker.

“[Winning the players' vote] doesn’t change anything for me,” Westbrook said. “It’s a great honor … and being an All-Star is something you don’t take for granted.

“But like I said, I don’t play to play in the All-Star [Game]. … I play to become a better player and to win championships.”

Westbrook leads the NBA in scoring, averaging 30.6 points per game, and also has a league-high 21 triple-doubles this season. Westbrook is also averaging 10.4 assists and 10.6 rebounds per game, making him the first player to be averaging a triple-double at this point in a season since 1963-64.

“I don’t want to take away anything from anybody, because I’m obviously not with all those players on a regular basis,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “But in my opinion, there’s no way he should not be starting in an All-Star Game.

“That’s it. Someone can say, ‘Well, who then?’ I’m not getting into that. I’m saying what he’s done this year. Here’s a guy, in my opinion, clearly is right in the thick of the MVP race for the entire league. So there in itself, I think everybody would admit that.”

Fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote to determine the starters. Current players and the media accounted for 25 percent each. Ballots consisted of two guards and three frontcourt players per conference.

Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis will join Curry and Harden in the West starting lineup. The East and West All-Star reserves will be announced next Thursday. They are chosen by NBA head coaches.

This year’s All-Star Game will take place at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Feb. 19.

Jaguars appear to be down the list for ‘Hard Knocks’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It appears the Jacksonville Jaguars’ chances of appearing on “Hard Knocks” have taken a hit based on several reports.

ESPN Houston Texans reporter Tania Ganguli reported Friday that the Texans were the favorite to appear on the HBO show, which showcases a team going through training camp and features behind-the-scenes footage. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported earlier Friday that the Texans were one of three finalists.

Also on Friday, Toni Grossi of ESPN radio in Cleveland reported that the NFL is honoring the Cleveland Browns’ request to not be considered.

In addition to the Jaguars, Texans and Browns, the following teams are reportedly also under consideration: Tennessee, Minnesota, St. Louis, Washington, Tampa Bay and the New York Giants.

An announcement could be made as early as next week.

While teams can request to appear or not appear on Hard Knocks, the NFL makes the final decision. In order to be under consideration, a team must not have made the playoffs within the past two seasons, have a new head coach, or have already appeared on the show.

The Jaguars meet those conditions but there are some other unwritten and unofficial criteria in play as well, such as a compelling storyline with a team or a high-profile player. The Bucs, for example, have quarterback Jameis Winston, the No. 1 pick in the draft. The Titans have quarterback Marcus Mariota, the No. 2 overall pick. The Giants have Odell Beckham Jr. and the Vikings could have Adrian Peterson in the fold, and his situation would make for compelling television.

Let’s not forget the Texans have J.J. Watt, who is arguably the best defensive player in the game.

As for the Jaguars, they lost first-round pick Dante Fowler Jr. to a torn ACL on the first day of rookie minicamp, they’ve won just nine games in the past three seasons, and the most nationally-recognizable player on the roster is tight end Julius Thomas.

But the Jaguars do have some compelling storylines, as well:

Quarterback Blake Bortles entering his second season and trying to rebound from a rookie season that saw him throw 17 touchdowns and post the worst Total QBR of any starter (21.9).

The three second-year receivers (Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns) growing along with Bortles.

Coach Gus Bradley is one of the most personable, energetic, and interesting people in the NFL. He’d be a huge hit on the show, both on and off the the field.

There’s one part of Hard Knocks, however, that makes some teams uneasy: The cameras are rolling when players are cut. It’s an emotional moment for both players and coaches and some teams are not comfortable with that arrangement.

The Jaguars will likely be featured on the show sometime, but it doesn’t appear that it’s going to be in 2015.

Melvin Gordon the center of attention on first day of rookie minicamp

SAN DIEGO — Ten minutes into the San Diego Chargers first minicamp practice, head coach Mike McCoy, offensive coordinator Frank Reich and running backs coach Ollie Wilson all had their eyes on running back Melvin Gordon as he went through individual drills under a steady drizzle at Chargers Park.

Even the team’s director of college scouting Kevin Kelly — who along with area scout Justin Sheridan was responsible for scouting Gordon — saddled up to the drill in order to get a closer look at San Diego’s new playmaker at running back.

Gordon said he did not notice Chargers brass watching his every move during the opening minutes of practice.

“I just kind of felt they were out there watching everybody,” Gordon said. “I’m so locked in trying to figure out what I need to do, I didn’t even notice them watching me. You probably saw it better than I did.”

Gordon looked as good as advertised on Friday, making quick, decisive cuts at the line of scrimmage and showing that trademark, electric burst once he reached the second level of the defense.

“He did a nice job,” McCoy said. “We weren’t going full speed out there. We were just doing an introduction and making sure everyone has a hat on a hat, and everyone is running to the right spot.

“But he made a few of those moves and those cuts. And you understand why we picked him where we did.”

Gordon did not have long to get acclimated. He arrived Thursday night, signing a four-year deal with a fifth-year option. Gordon had a little time to study the playbook and digest the first two installations of San Diego’s offense before hitting the field on Friday.

“I’m still just trying to learn everything, get the calls, protections and things like that,” Gordon said. “I’m just trying to play as fast as I can, but also know what I need to do.

“I came in a little late, so it’s overloading a little bit right now. But Coach is doing a good job of bringing me along.”

One thing Gordon appreciated on his first practice was the calming, steady approach used by Wilson.

“It’s good,” he said. “I heard he’s a great coach. And I like his coaching style, real laid-back. You can tell he knows a lot. And I’m excited to get coached up by him.”

Gordon also is excited to be back on the field after a five-month hiatus.

“We’ve been out for a while now just around the nation,” Gordon said. “Guys have been sitting out for a while. I haven’t played football in a while. So to get back out here, you have to get your legs back used to it and get back rolling.”

Former Green Beret Nate Boyer soaks in his first day in NFL

RENTON, Wash. — Nate Boyer won’t likely forget walking in the Seattle Seahawks’ locker room on Friday and seeing the blue No. 48 jersey with his name on it.

“To go in there and I see [the jersey], it’s awesome,” he said. “To be able to officially say I’m an NFL player, as long as it lasts, it’s amazing. It’s hard to describe.”

At age 34, Boyer is the inspirational story of rookie camp, a Green Beret war hero who became a talented long-snapper for the Texas Longhorns in his 30s. Now the Seahawks are giving him a shot in the NFL as a rookie free agent.

“I’m so fortunate to be here,” Boyer said after his first NFL practice. “I’m soaking up every minute of it. You can’t ask for more. This is the best team in football.”

Boyer was the first player on the field Friday. He realizes he is a long shot to make the team. The Seahawks have one of the best long-snappers in football in Clint Gresham, who recently signed a new three-year deal worth $2.7 million.

“Clint was one of the first people to congratulate me,” Boyer said. “It’s two guys competing and both having fun and getting after it. I’m going to give it everything I have.”

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he is impressed with what Boyer has accomplished in his life and what he has given to his country.

“It’s hard to grasp, for some of us, what he’s gone through and what he’s endured,” Carroll said of Boyer. “The mentality that it’s taken for him to accomplish the things he’s accomplished. He’s an amazing man. We’re thrilled to have him. And he snaps the ball pretty sweet too, so he had a good first day for us.”

Boyer earned a Bronze Star while serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. He said his experiences in combat have helped him on the football field.

“Football is not like war in any way,” Boyer said. “But it does have a lot of similarities to the military with those brotherhoods you build in the locker room or on the battlefield.

“The concept I love about football is you are literally fighting for the man on your left and right. That’s exactly what it’s all about in combat. You’re selfless and playing for each other. That’s something I’ve already heard here in the last 24 hours.”

He also has heard a lot of encouraging messages from his former buddies in the service.

“But the best things, the ones that inspire the most, are notes and letters from people I’ve never met,” Boyer said. “I got one [Friday] in my locker that said, ‘Hey, you’re inspiring me to go after something. I don’t care that people are telling me I can’t and I won’t.’

“I love that. Those are the words that drive me. I turn it into fuel and it fires me up.”

Boyer didn’t start playing football until he was 29, so did he ever imagine he would get an opportunity in the NFL?

“Of course,” he said. “I’m a dreamer. I’m just like that. I believe that I can do it. What I learned in the military is how to work toward that. It takes a huge amount of sacrifice.

“It’s what you have to be willing to give up and to accept the fact that you might fail. But when you get to this level, that’s not failing. It may not work out the way you hope, but it’s not failing.”

Boyer doesn’t consider himself a hero, but he wants to do something special for people he sees as heroes.

“There are so many guys out there that have done way more heroic things than I can imagine,” Boyer said. “There are guys that have lost a lot more than me and sacrificed a lot more than I have. I’m fortunate to be able to do this.

“There are a lot of guys that will never get that opportunity, not just in football, but a lot of things. That’s one of the main reasons I’m here, to honor those guys, the guys who paid the ultimate sacrifice. They gave everything so guys like me can play football.”

Irsay isn’t ruling out Chuck Pagano extension before season

INDIANAPOLIS — Hold off for now on officially calling Chuck Pagano a lame duck coach for the Indianapolis Colts.

Owner Jim Irsay hasn’t shut the door on giving Pagano a contract extension before the start of the 2015 season.

“I really feel positive about Chuck and what he’s done for us. There’s no question that he’s accomplished a lot since he’s been here,” Irsay said while speaking at the Chuckstrong Tailgate Gala, an event to help raise awareness and funds for cancer research. “And, obviously, we’re here for this gala because he had that illness in 2012. Really, it’s only been kind of two years almost that he’s been coaching. He’s done a very good job. Nothing rules out that we couldn’t have an extension done before the season. If not, we can still, I’m sure, probably work things out.”

Pagano turned down a one-year contract extension from the Colts earlier in the offseason. Pagano will officially become a lame duck coach if he and the Colts don’t work out a deal before the season starts.

“There were some efforts to talk about it and we just didn’t get there,” Irsay said. “Sometimes that happens and people have different opinions these days. If you go back to the old days, there were no agents involved. … Again, we’re real positive about Chuck Pagano and the things he’s done and it’s not a sign of anything extremely negative. We just haven’t gotten anything done in terms of a long-term contract.”

Irsay made sure to say that it’s not a Super Bowl-or-bust season for Pagano, who was hired in 2012. He led the Colts to the AFC Championship Game last season and they’ve won 11 games in each of the past three seasons. One thing Irsay did say, though, is that he wants better consistency from his team.

“Obviously we had a great year, but again, the Pittsburgh game, the Dallas game, the Patriots games, they were concerning and we’re looking to make sure that we get that consistency and are really playing, if health is with us, really playing with that top four group, that top three or four teams,” Irsay said. “I think last year Green Bay, Seattle, New England and probably even Dallas were really teams that were playing consistent and all those things. It seemed like the NFC had maybe three [teams] and the AFC had one [team] with the Patriots.”

The fact that Pagano is in the position of getting a new contract with the Colts is a positive when you take into consideration his health in the fall of 2012. He missed 12 games while battling leukemia. Pagano is healthy and enjoying help awareness for cancer research at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. The money raised at his event Friday helps support cancer research projects in Indiana and other states.

“Our goal right here in Indianapolis is to find a cure for all blood cancers,” Pagano said. “Just maybe we see that happen in our lifetime.”

Huskies’ four potential first-rounders draw an audience at pro day

SEATTLE — No team will offer up a quartet of defensive talent when the NFL draft starts on April 30 like Washington, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Huskies’ pro day was overflowing with coaches and scouts eager to see what Danny Shelton, Marcus Peters, Shaq Thompson and Hau’oli Kikaha had to offer, though only Kikaha participated in the testing of measurables.

While all four are first-round prospects — Shelton seems a certainty not to last until Round 2 — their draft narratives aren’t the same.

Shelton is the polite, thoughtful academic All-American who just happens to be remarkably light on his feet for a run-stuffing, pocket-mashing 338-pounder who has little to prove.

Thompson, who sported a “Superman” tank top during the workout, is the tweener safety/linebacker. He tipped the scales at 228 pounds and completed drills for both linebackers and defensive backs, showcasing plenty of explosive quickness. His biggest issue is finding a position, a challenge that includes telling suitors he has no interest in playing running back, which he did for the Huskies during much of the 2014 season.

“I got [a question about playing running back] today,” Thompson said. “I kind of made him mad because I told him I didn’t want to play running back anymore. Everybody has pretty much said strong safety or ‘Will’ linebacker.”

Kikaha is a tweener defensive end/outside linebacker, though his production as a pure pass-rusher should overcome that quandary — had had a nation-leading 19 sacks this past season. One issue he apparently has overcome is his injury history, as two seasons were killed by ACL surgery.

“It’s kind of gone away since the combine,” he said. “There were about 100 doctors who checked it out. They all seem to be pretty happy with it. No one has asked [about] it since.”

Peters is the most complicated of the four. The wide consensus is he’s a first-round talent, but he was kicked off the Huskies by first-year coach Chris Petersen following a confrontation with an assistant coach during practice, one of many issues he had with his new coaching staff. Though he patched things up enough with Petersen to participate with his former teammates at pro day, his coachability is a big question, one that he didn’t embrace talking about with reporters afterward.

“We talk about it and we move on. Playing for the future,” he said when asked about discussions he’d had with NFL personnel men concerning his past problems.

This foursome led 20 Huskies who worked out for the scouts on hand, including former quarterback Keith Price. Among the curious watching Washington’s pro day were Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, as well as new Washington Redskins GM Scot McCloughan.

Each of the Huskies’ fearsome foursome admitted that they are happy the draft process is winding down, though each will have a handful of meetings with teams before the draft.

Said Shelton, “This whole process is exciting, but exhausting that the same time.”

Despite injury, Jalen Collins could be first-rounder

BATON ROUGE, La. — Jalen Collins was shocked to learn at the NFL scouting combine that he had a fractured right foot.

For his sake, thankfully the combine medical staff still allowed Collins to participate, and he delivered one of the most impressive performances of any cornerback at the event despite the injury.

The former LSU cornerback, whom some draft analysts project as a first-round pick, recently underwent surgery to repair an incomplete Jones fracture in his foot. It prevented him from participating in LSU’s pro day on Friday, but should only sideline him for about three more weeks.

“When I first found out, I was kind of disappointed because I didn’t think I was going to be able to work out at the combine,” Collins said. “When my name wasn’t on the list of people that had to sit out, I was excited to hear that.

“Just after the combine workouts I just went into it [thinking] this is something that I have to get done — a little speed bump, but it shouldn’t be too hard to come back from.”

The foot surgery is about the only disappointing aspect of the three months since Collins declared for the draft. He started seven games last season as a junior and just 10 in his entire college career, but Collins’ combination of ideal size (6-foot-2, 198 pounds) and raw tools helped him vault up the list of prospects at his position.

Not bad for a guy who was advised to stay in college when he submitted his name to the NFL underclassman advisory board to be evaluated as a possible draft entrant. Undaunted, Collins had faith in his own abilities. Those abilities have him sitting 24th on ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.’s Big Board and ranking as Kiper’s No. 3 cornerback.

“I was honestly just hoping for the best,” Collins said of his decision to enter the draft. “Everybody wants to be in the first round, obviously, but coming in, I really didn’t have any prior expectations. I was just going to do what I could do and hope for the best.”

Following his combine performance, where he ran a 4.48-second time in the 40-yard dash and finished among the top cornerbacks in several other drills while performing well during positional exercises, Collins has reason for optimism.

Collins said he already has interviews lined up with nine or 10 NFL clubs, starting with the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars next week. Once his foot heals, he will surely have several more individual workouts with interested suitors ahead of the April 30 draft.

“It really has [been a whirlwind],” Collins said. “Leading up to the combine and just kind of working out, not really having any idea what would happen, just, ‘I’m going to work hard, do what I can.’ And then after the combine, it’s like, ‘Wow, this is really happening.’ ”

While Collins was unable to participate on Friday, 22 former LSU players were able to compete in front of approximately 100 scouts and coaches representing every NFL club.

Offensive tackle La’el Collins — another possible first-round pick — was among them, although he stood on the numbers he posted at the combine and participated only in positional drills alongside former teammates Elliott Porter, Fehoko Fanaika and Evan Washington.

Linebacker Kwon Alexander, whose 4.55 time in the 40 was among the fastest for linebackers at the combine, participated only in the shuttle run and positional drills. Defensive end Danielle Hunter did all of the events and drills on Friday except the 40 — he ran the fastest time of any defensive lineman at the combine at 4.57 — and the bench press after completing 25 reps at the combine.

“I felt great [at the combine],” said Hunter, who injured himself at the combine while running his second 40. “I had a little hamstring injury and I didn’t want to do all the drills, so I just waited until pro day to do most of the drills.”

But Hunter was pleased with his showing on Friday, when he posted the best numbers out of all of the day’s participants in the 20-yard shuttle run (4.31 seconds), three-cone drill (6.95 seconds), broad jump (10 feet, 10.5 inches) and vertical jump (36.5 inches). ESPN Scouts Inc.’s No. 77 overall prospect and Kiper’s No. 9 defensive end, Hunter participated in positional drills at both end and linebacker.

“I got the times I needed,” Hunter said. “I showed what I can show in my drills. My hips, they could be a little better.”

The aforementioned foursome — Jalen Collins, La’el Collins, Alexander and Hunter — has already solidified positions as LSU’s top draft prospects, but several other Tigers needed strong performances on Friday in order to help themselves.

Two such players were running backs Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard. Magee did not run the 40 at the combine after injuring his hamstring at a postseason all-star game, and Hilliard probably wished he hadn’t run in Indianapolis after posting a 4.83. He fared much better on Friday, posting a 4.6, while Magee ran a 4.56.

“I heard a couple different things. I heard 4.6 and I heard 4.5, but I’m glad with either one,” Hilliard said. “I just wanted to improve here from the combine and that’s what I came out here and did.”

Receiver Quantavius Leslie posted the fastest 40 time of the day (4.45), while Porter completed the most bench press reps (34). For a full list of results, see the pro day page on LSU’s official athletics site here.

Kenny Britt’s return to Rams best for both sides

EARTH CITY, Mo. — From the moment wide receiver Kenny Britt arrived in St. Louis on a one-year “prove it” deal in 2014, he made it clear that he needed a fresh start with a familiar face.

The St. Louis Rams offered Britt just that with a chance to begin anew somewhere other than Tennessee but with a trusted confidant in Rams coach Jeff Fisher. Fisher was the coach who drafted Britt in 2009 and the only coach with whom Britt had enjoyed any NFL success.

Removed from the only NFL home he’d ever known but also the place where he’d struggled with injuries and off the field issues, Britt made the most of his new opportunity. About as much as a wide receiver playing for this version of the Rams could, Britt “proved it.”

As a reward for proving that he could be a productive player on the field and a solid citizen and leader off of it, Britt received another contract with the Rams on Friday night. This time, Britt got two years instead of one and though the financials weren’t yet clear, it’s safe to assume they far exceed the $1 million base salary he got a year ago.

That Britt is back with the Rams should come as no surprise. He was the team’s most productive receiver last year with 48 catches for 748 yards and three touchdowns. The yardage production made Britt the first Rams pass-catcher since Torry Holt in 2008 to even break the 700-yard barrier.

Make no mistake, 700 yards isn’t much of a milestone for a receiver but in these parts, that represents progress.

In the process, Britt also proved a more valuable team leader than many could have imagined. He was also instrumental in the early-season flash of progress by fellow receiver Brian Quick, who credited Britt with showing him how to use his bigger frame to his advantage.

“He’s that kind of player,” Quick said near the end of the season. “That’s why he’s here. Just looking at him shows that I can do the same thing.”

Keeping Britt should also allow the Rams to focus their resources on other areas, namely the offensive line. While many would still like to see them add a top receiver in the draft — and they still might — that want would have become a need without Britt’s return.

From Britt’s perspective, he never had much of a desire to detach from Fisher so long as the offers he got on the free-agent market came in about the same. Fisher is known for how he manages his players and allowed Britt days off near the end of the season to help keep him healthy.

Britt’s healthiest and most productive years have come under Fisher’s guidance. In three seasons with Fisher as his head coach, Britt averaged 741.3 yards, 44 receptions and five touchdowns while missing just four of a possible 48 games. In three seasons without Fisher as his head coach, Britt averaged 324.7 yards, 24.3 catches and 2.3 touchdowns while missing 19 of a possible 48 games.

The two sides began negotiating as far back as January and though it carried into the first few days of free agency, it always seemed like nothing more than a matter of time for an agreement to be struck.

“It’s always about how you fit and how you feel,” Britt said in December. “I was never a person that would go out there and play the game for money. I go out there and play the game for the guys that line up next to me and the guy that is in there each and every day going to work for guys like Jeff Fisher and the coaching staff. That’s somebody I want to go win a ring with because he deserves it and I want to be one of the guys that helps.”

With a deal now done, Britt will get his chance.

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has aggressive plan that includes Darrelle Revis

Mike Maccagnan has been on the job for about a minute, and we already know this about him: He’s not gun-shy.

And another thing: He wants to win now.

On Friday, the New York Jets’ general manager pulled off a low-risk trade for a talented, yet volatile wide receiver — Brandon Marshall. Sound familiar? Maccagnan’s predecessor, John Idzik, made a similar deal last October for Percy Harvin, but it was a too-little, too-late move born of desperation.

Marshall is a less expensive, more talented version of Harvin, but he’s also four years older. He’ll be 31 in a couple of weeks, and it’s certainly fair to wonder why a rebuilding team — with a big question at quarterback, no less — is willing to pay $7.7 million this year for a receiver on the wrong side of 30.

Why? Because Maccagnan apparently isn’t content to ride out his honeymoon in the far-right lane. He’s in the passing lane, trying to make up ground in the AFC East. It’s why he re-signed linebacker David Harris, hardly a young pup at 31, for a whopping $15 million in guarantees. It’s why he’ll go into free agency Tuesday determined to pursue a certain almost-30 cornerback who has his own Island address.

Yes, they’re hot for Darrelle Revis, and we could see the most dramatic Jets-New England Patriots tug-of-war since the Curtis Martin saga in 1998 — assuming Revis doesn’t re-up with the champs before Tuesday. The smart money says he doesn’t, forcing the Patriots to release him to avoid a prohibitive $20-million option. The border war is about to escalate once again.

The Marshall trade took onions because we all know he can be everything from a diva (being kind) to a major headache, especially for his quarterbacks. On his worst days, he can make Santonio Holmes seem like a boy scout. In Chicago, Marshall clashed with Jay Cutler, criticizing him publicly toward the end of last season. That came after Cutler reportedly didn’t bother to visit Marshall in the hospital after he suffered rib and lung injuries.

Nice chemistry, huh? A player with Marshall’s talent doesn’t get traded three times unless there are some serious issues above the shoulders. He’s an immensely talented “me” guy, but the beauty of the trade is the Jets can cut bait after a year with no salary-cap ramifications. All it cost them was a fifth-round draft pick.

Clearly, Maccagnan is leaning on new coach Todd Bowles, because Bowles is the Marshall expert at One Jets Drive. He and Marshall spent two seasons together with the Miami Dolphins, 2010 and 2011, so we have to assume Bowles knows the good, the bad and the ugly. Maybe he can find a way to keep him in line. Marshall also will have his former Dolphins’ position coach, Karl Dorrell, so he’ll be surrounded by familiar faces. That should help. The coach-player dynamic is the key to the entire trade.

“The true test will be when adversity strikes, considering the quarterback [situation],” said an AFC personnel executive, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“He’s a talented guy who has been traded to three teams and never finished a contract,” the executive said of Marshall. “All that said, he’s better than what the Jets had. But it’s all the other stuff that will come with it and will test a new regime. The fact that the quarterback situation is unsettled, it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.”

Ah, yes, the quarterback situation. Bad play at quarterback can ruin everything. The most aggressive GM in the league can’t create a franchise quarterback out of thin air, so it looks like Maccagnan will be stuck with Geno Smith or a second-rate veteran from the free-agent market. Maybe he’s banking on an improved supporting cast helping Smith grow as a player. The rising tide lifts all boats, as the saying goes, but not if one of the boats has a leak.

For now, Marshall gives the Jets a legitimate No. 1 receiver. His numbers declined last season because of injuries, but he was the NFL’s second-leading receiver in catches and yards from 2007 to 2013. Eric Decker, miscast last season as a No. 1, will feel more comfortable as No. 2 and will see less coverage. Harvin probably will be released, saving them $10.5 million on this year’s cap.

The Jets’ passing offense was 32nd last season, and they just added a five-time Pro Bowl receiver. They got older, but they got better. Unlike his predecessor, Maccagnan isn’t conceding today for tomorrow.

Browns add great guy in Josh McCown, but who is quarterback?

The Cleveland Browns added a mentor to their roster when they signed Josh McCown.

How much of a player they added remains to be seen.

McCown is a tremendous individual, but at 35, he’s coming off a Tampa Bay season in which he was given the starting job and went 1-10 — against the NFC South.

The Browns gave him a three-year deal. The team can explain its reasons, and those reasons could turn out to be correct. But at this point, this move seems to make as much sense as so many moves of the post-1999 Browns, which is to say very little.

The team will make its case. McCown can be a mentor. He doesn’t have to start to do that; he wants that role. He worked with new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in 2007 in Oakland. And the team concluded it does not see Brian Hoyer as a long-term starter.

They’re entitled to those decisions, just as fans are entitled to throw their hands up and scream at the thought of McCown and Johnny Manziel as the team’s quarterbacks in 2015.

So many questions follow, which isn’t supposed to be the case when a team makes a signing at its most important position.

Do the Browns think McCown can start? Does what he showed in Tampa Bay give more belief than what Hoyer showed in Cleveland? Do they believe Manziel will be available to play this year? And if he is, do they believe, based on what they saw in the seven quarters he played, that he can be a starter? If they felt the need to sign McCown, what does it say about how the team feels about the available quarterbacks in free agency? Will they add anyone in free agency, and at what price?

At this point, the signs don’t point to another major addition, except perhaps through the draft (has Marcus Mariota ever looked better?)

McCown was good two years ago, as the backup to Jay Cutler. He had a positive effect on Cutler. Maybe he can do the same with Manziel.

But that doesn’t eliminate the concerns about whether Manziel can succeed in the NFL, at his height and with his style and his commitment — remember, he didn’t know the plays when he finally started in Game 14 of the past season — and whether McCown is even a starting quarterback in the NFL.

McCown actually falls into a pattern long-established by the ever-changing organization that is the Cleveland Browns. That would be the pattern of the veteran quarterback signed late in his career — too late to make a positive impact on the Browns.

Go down the list.

Jake Delhomme. Jeff Garcia. Trent Dilfer. They’re all on the infamous jersey that no doubt will have a 23rd name (and second McCown) added to it in 2015.

All were going to be saviors. They all lasted one year.

Only in Cleveland.

At 6-3, then 7-4 the past season, the Browns seemed headed in the right direction. But things have unraveled wildly since.

An offensive coordinator left two years’ pay on the table to get out, the GM admitted to texting assistant coaches during games in violation of league rules, Manziel entered rehab, ticket prices went up, Josh Gordon was suspended and … well … it almost seems pointless to go on.

Except through it all, the Browns and owner Jimmy Haslam said things were fine and dandy. Now he has a 35-year-old quarterback to prove his point.

To which the only response seems to be: Seriously?