NEW YORK — John Mara unequivocally said Wednesday that the Giants aren’t pursuing Texans QB Deshaun Watson.

“We’re not trading for Deshaun Watson,” Mara said, citing the more than 20 women who have accused Watson of sexual assault and harassment in lawsuits. “There’s so many reasons why we wouldn’t do that. For cap reasons we couldn’t afford it but more importantly with the allegations that are out there, it’s just not the right thing for us.”

Mara and new GM Joe Schoen also strongly endorsed Daniel Jones as their team’s 2022 quarterback even before hiring a head coach.

“We do feel that Daniel can play,” Mara said. “We’ve done everything possible to screw this kid up since he’s been here. We keep changing coaches, keep changing offensive coordinators, keep changing offensive line coaches. I take a lot of responsibility for that.

“But let’s bring in the right group of coaches now, give him some continuity, try to rebuild the offensive line and then be able to make an intelligent evaluation of whether he can be the franchise quarterback or not,” Mara added. “I have a lot of hope in Daniel. I know how badly he wants it. I know (how) the players feel about him. So we are certainly not giving up on him by any stretch of the imagination.”

Schoen also said: “We’ll build an offense around Daniel to accentuate what he does best.”

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The GM said he would wait until hiring a head coach before deciding on whether to pick up Jones’ fifth year option for 2023, a decision the Giants have to make by May.

VIKINGS: Minnesota has hired Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as its general manager, according to a person with knowledge of the process, taking an innovative turn by bringing in an analytics expert from Cleveland’s front office who once worked on Wall Street.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Wednesday because the Vikings had not yet announced the decision.

Adofo-Mensah, the vice president of football operations for the Browns for the last two years, was one of two finalists the Vikings identified from an initial pool of eight candidates. The other was Kansas City executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles, who was hired as general manager of the Chicago Bears on Tuesday before he made it to Minnesota for his scheduled visit. Adofo-Mensah was at Vikings headquarters on Tuesday for his second formal interview. With Poles and Adofo-Mensah, who are both Black, filling vacancies this cycle there are now seven minority general managers in the NFL.

The 40-year-old Adofo-Mensah has an economics degrees from Princeton, where he was a walk-on basketball player, and Stanford. He is a native of New Jersey, just like Vikings owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf. Adofo-Mensah was a commodities trader and portfolio manager early in his career before entering the NFL in 2013 with San Francisco in research and development. After seven seasons with the 49ers, Adofo-Mensah was hired by the Browns in 2020.

BROWNS: As he recovers from shoulder surgery, Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield plans to rest his thumbs as well. Mayfield said he’s going to take a break from “all social media for the foreseeable future.”

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Ironically, the polarizing QB went on his Instagram page Wednesday to announce his hiatus from tweeting and posting.

“Gotta do what’s best to focus on me, my family and loved ones,” Mayfield wrote. “Appreciate all the support. Time to get right.”

Mayfield concluded his message by also including a contact for anyone making business or marketing inquiries. Mayfield recently concluded a dreadful, injury-filled fourth season with the Browns, who were among the NFL’s most disappointing teams. Cleveland went 8-9, missed the playoffs and dealt with drama, much of it involving Mayfield.

RAIDERS: Las Vegas cornerback Nate Hobbs pleaded guilty Wednesday to a reduced traffic charge stemming from his arrest early this month on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

The 22-year-old rookie did not appear in person while his attorney, Richard Schonfeld, submitted a written guilty plea to a misdemeanor – careless driving.

Hobbs was arrested before dawn Jan. 3 after he was found asleep inside a vehicle stopped on an exit ramp of a Las Vegas Strip casino parking garage. Prosecutors said Hobbs’ blood-alcohol level was tested at 0.07%, just under the DUI legal limit in Nevada of 0.08%.

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A Las Vegas justice of the peace accepted the plea, imposed a $685 fine and 20 hours of community service, and ordered Hobbs to stay out of trouble.

• The Las Vegas Raiders have made a request to interview Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles for their head coach opening.

Bowles is the third known candidate for the position. Interim coach Rich Bisaccia interviewed for the full-time role last week and Patriots defensive assistant Jerod Mayo was expected to interview with owner Mark Davis on Tuesday.

Bowles had a 24-40 record in four seasons as head coach of the Jets before getting fired following the 2018 season.

PRO BOWL: Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Harold Landry is replacing Joey Bosa of the Los Angeles Chargers at the Pro Bowl because of an injury.

This will be Landry’s first Pro Bowl appearance with the fourth-year linebacker coming off the best season of his career. Landry, who has 31 sacks, led the Titans with 12 sacks and ranked second with 75 tackles. He also had 49 quarterback pressures, 14 tackles for loss and one forced fumble.

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EAGLES: With great reluctance and more than a few tears, Philadelphia Eagles right guard Brandon Brooks announced his retirement after 10 seasons in the NFL.

The 32-year-old Brooks, a three-time Pro Bowl pick, became one of the NFL’s best guards after the Eagles signed him in free agency in 2016 and helped Philadelphia win a Super Bowl four years ago.

A third-round pick by the Houston Texans out of Miami (Ohio) in 2012, Brooks blossomed under renowned offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland. Brooks spent about four minutes of his retirement announcement thanking dozens of people, but he saved Stoutland for last.

“I feel like it is rare to have a coach who is as impactful on the field as off,” Brooks said. “He took me from being a good player to being the best at my position.”

Brooks said he doesn’t think he has lost his skills, but he can’t stay healthy. A string of four serious injuries that began with a torn Achilles tendon in January 2019 prevented him from playing all but two games the last two seasons.

RAVENS: Anthony Levine announced his retirement after a decade with the Baltimore Ravens.

The team said Levine will transition into a scouting and coaching role for the Ravens in 2022.

Levine played defensive back and linebacker and was a significant contributor on special teams. He turns 35 in March.


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