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Woods’ movement stalls with third-round 71 at U.S. Open

Woods' movement stalls with third-round 71 at U.S. Open

Woods’ movement stalls with third-round 71 at U.S. Open

Moving day at the U.S. Open didn’t equate to an improvement in Tiger Woods’ fortunes.

His movement was one stroke back, one stroke forward, as he had five birdies and five bogeys in an even-par 71 round on Saturday on a cool day at Pebble Beach.

Woods also is even par through three rounds with a 213 total. He knows that placement doesn’t typically equate to any final-day surge occurring at the prestigious tournament being held on the northern California coast.

“I’ve had my chances to post good rounds — today, this week,” Woods told reporters after Saturday’s round. “Today was a perfect example. I fought back, and if I was able to clean up my rounds the first two days, I would be closer to the lead than I am now.”

Woods felt he needed a strong start on Saturday to try to work himself in the mix. Instead, the opposite happened, as he bogeyed two of the first three holes.

“Those are supposed to be some of the easier holes, and I’m a couple over and had to fight back the entire day, and I was able to clod around a few more, which is pretty good,” Woods said.

Woods seemed to escape his fog — on a day in which low-lying clouds blocked the sun from baking the course — with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5.

But a three-putt bogey on No. 7 pushed him over for the round. Another bogey on No. 12 hurt, but Woods scored birdies on three of the last five holes (14, 16 and 18) though he had another bogey on 15.

What stuck with Woods is he felt the course conditions were more favorable than the first two rounds, yet he didn’t take advantage.

“They were able to get some mowers on the fairways, and they were a little bit quicker,” he said. “I think they did a great job of setting it up so that we can make birdies. And if you do miss them on the wrong spot, then you still can get up and down here, which is not always the case.”

The cool conditions presented another challenge for Woods, who said his body was aching throughout Saturday’s round.

“The forces have to go somewhere,” said Woods, who has undergone four back surgeries. “And if they’re not in the lower back, they’re in the neck, and if not, they’re in the mid-back and if not they go to the knee. You name it. …

“Let me put it this way, I feel every shot I hit. I think that’s always going to be the place from here going forward.”

–Field Level Media

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Woodland leads Rose by one at U.S. Open

Woodland leads Rose by one at U.S. Open

Woodland leads Rose by one at U.S. Open

Gary Woodland maintained the lead through the third round of the U.S. Open, posting a 2-under 69 in Saturday’s third round at Pebble Beach on the shores of northern California.

Woodland is 11-under 202 for the tournament and goes into Sunday’s final round with a one-shot edge on England’s Justin Rose, who registered on 68 on Saturday. Rose closed with a birdie, cutting his deficit in half from when the round began.

Woodland endured only his second bogey of the tournament on the par-4 eighth hole. From there, he had pars the rest of the way other than a birdie on No. 11, his third of the day after two on the front nine.

Rose rolled in a birdie putt from the fringe on the par-5 14th for one of his clutch conversions, bouncing back from a bogey at the 13th. He finished with five birdies against two bogeys on the day.

Woodland and Rose will be in the final pairing for the second day in a row.

Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka made a move, closing within two shots of the lead at one point. His bogey-free 68 was his best mark of the tournament so far, leaving him at 7 under going into the final round.

Chez Reavie (68) and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen (70) are level with Koepka in third place.

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (70) is alone in sixth at 6 under.

Matt Kuchar (70) looked like he would be a factor after an eagle on the sixth hole and a birdie on the seventh put him 4 under for the round. But he had back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 8 and 9, and again at Nos. 16 and 17 following a birdie at the 15th. He sits at 5 under with Chesson Hadley (70), who bogeyed the final hole.

England’s Danny Willett shot 67 for his lowest round in any U.S. Open, recording the best score of the day.

“You play good golf, there’s a good score out there,” Willett said.

After a pair of 71s, Willett has moved into good shape at 4 under for the week.

“We put ourselves in that position regardless of what the leaders do,” Willett said. “We’re going to be in nice position to go out there (in the final round) and have a decent finish regardless of what the guys at the top do.”

Tiger Woods shot 71 to remain at even for the tournament. He used birdies on Nos. 16 and 18 to save a round that included five bogeys.

“I had to try to fight back and claw out a round today, which I was able to do,” Woods said.

Woods, who is tied for 27th, was still bummed about missed opportunities the first two days, figuring that’s the reason he hasn’t entered the list of contenders.

“If I was able to clean up my rounds the first two days, I would be closer to the lead than I am now,” he said.

–Field Level Media

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Manning pays tribute to late Broncos owner

Manning pays tribute to late Broncos owner

Peyton Manning offered

Manning pays tribute to late Broncos owner

Peyton Manning offered a warm tribute Saturday to longtime Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, who died this week at age 75 after battling Alzheimer’s disease.

Manning said his respect for Bowlen had “a lot to do” with him joining the Broncos in 2012 after spending his first 13 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. Manning won a Super Bowl championship with the Broncos in following the 2015 season, which marked his final one in the league.

The Broncos and Bowlen’s family announced that they would host a public tribute for the late owner on Tuesday at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. The tribute will include personal memorabilia along with pictures and a video celebrating his life and contributions, according to the team.

“My deepest sympathies go out to the entire Bowlen family,” Manning said. “I met Mr. Bowlen for the first time when I played for the Indianapolis Colts and I was over in Hawaii at the Pro Bowl when he was also there at his Hawaiian home. I saw him several times throughout the years and had short, brief conversations with him that I really enjoyed. …

“It was an honor to play for Mr. Bowlen’s organization, as I’ve said numerous times. I always had great respect for the Denver Broncos during my time playing for the Colts competing against his organization. So much of that credit goes to Pat Bowlen and his desire to be the best and to win. That had a lot to do with me signing with the Denver Broncos — that I knew Mr. Bowlen was all about winning and I knew the people that he had hired would carry on that tradition and legacy. It was a great decision to come play here — we still live here today. I’m grateful for Mr. Bowlen and the legacy that he’s established with the Broncos, in the NFL and certainly in this Denver community. He will be missed by many. It was an honor to know Mr. Bowlen and a real pleasure to have played for his team — the Denver Broncos.”

–Field Level Media

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Like father, like son: WR Beebe catches on with Vikings

Like father, like son: WR Beebe catches on with Vikings

Like father, like son: WR Beebe catches on with Vikings

Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski remembers when undrafted free agent Chad Beebe showed up for a long-shot audition to make the team.

Beebe had a famous last name, but Stefanski knew little else about the undersized wide receiver from Northern Illinois.

“He showed up last season at rookie minicamp and he really didn’t have a name for himself,” Stefanski told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “He was just Don Beebe’s son.”

Much has changed since then. When the Beebes celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, there will be two NFL receivers in the family, not just the former Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers wideout who caught 219 passes for 3,416 yards and 23 touchdowns over a nine-year career.

With training camp a little more than a month away, Chad Beebe, 25, is the favorite to win a job as the Vikings’ slot receiver, the Pioneer Press reported. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs are established as one of the league’s best one-two punches at receiver, and Beebe appears to have surpassed Laquon Treadwell on the depth chart.

“He has had probably as good an offseason as any player that I know on our side of the ball,” assistant head coach Gary Kubiak told the newspaper. “He’s got a chance to be a really good player for us. It gives us flexibility to bounce around personnel-wise.”

Beebe caught only four passes for 39 yards in three games last season, which was interrupted by a hamstring injury.

The 5-foot-10, 183-pound receiver said he feels more confident now and is eager to build upon his rookie learning experience.

“Naturally, the nerves were there last season because I was out there trying to make a name for myself,” he said to the newspaper. “Not saying I’m not still trying to do that. It just helps to have some experience under my belt and some playing time. I’m able to take a deep breath every so often and enjoy it and have fun and play the way I know I can.”

Is Beebe focused on winning the No. 3 receiver job this summer?

“Honestly, I don’t even pay attention to it,” he said. “Looking back on it, the way I got here, and the way I stayed here, was going out there and doing the best I can and letting everything else fall into place. That’s what I’m going to continue to do.”

–Field Level Media

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Woodland grabs 2-shot lead at U.S. Open

Woodland grabs 2-shot lead at U.S. Open

Woodland grabs 2-shot lead at U.S. Open

Gary Woodland shot a bogey-free 6-under 65 to surge into the lead as the U.S. Open reached the midway point after Friday’s second round on the shores of Pebble Beach, California.

Woodland carries a 9 under mark into the weekend, holding a two-shot edge on England’s Justin Rose, who held the lead for most of the day after his 70 until Woodland’s late-day charge.

Woodland, who started on the back nine, closed with a birdie putt of about 50 feet on the ninth hole.

South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen became the co-leader briefly before settling with a 70. That put him in third place at 6 under.

Oosthuizen had a bizarre final nine holes. Having also started on the back nine, he bogeyed four holes and birdied four others on his final nine. His only par came on No. 9.

Aaron Wise (71) and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (69) share fourth place at 5 under.

Rose had three birdies and two bogeys on Friday. He shot a blistering 65 in the opening round.

“I’m happy. I felt there was an opportunity to go a few better,” Rose told Fox Sports 1 after his round “… You’re going to make some mistakes during the course of the week. You shake it off, and that’s what U.S. Opens are all about.”

McIlroy appeared positioned to bolt to the lead, but he bogeyed No. 13 and took a double-bogey on the par-5 14th hole. McIlroy regrouped with birdies on the next two holes.

Wise, who fired a first-round 66, had consistency issues while carding a 71.

Wise had five birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey.

“I was able to stay patient, wait for the birdies to come to me,” Wise said. “And (No.) 17 was a huge birdie, and to get one on 18 and finish even for the day makes me feel good.”

Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka was five shots off the pace after his second straight 69. He is the first defending champ since Scott Simpson in 1988 to score under 70 in his first two rounds.

Koepka had three birdies and one bogey while hitting 12 of 14 fairways. He did experience some putting issues.

“Funny thing was I was hitting good putts,” Koepka told Fox Sports 1 after his round. “I don’t mind it if I’m going to hit good putts and they’re going to miss. That happened today. Ball striking was tremendously better today. … Never really felt like I had to work. It was quite an easy round.”

Also tied with Koepka at 4 under were Matt Kuchar (69), Chesson Hadley (70) and Chez Reavie (70). Kuchar made an eagle putt on 18 to end his round.

Tiger Woods bogeyed his final two holes — at Nos. 8 and 9 — to post a 72. He sits at even par for the tournament, nine strokes behind Woodland.

“I’m a little hot right now,” Woods said, perturbed by how he capped the round.

Woods also had a positive perspective halfway through the tournament.

“Right now I’m still in the ball game,” he said. “There’s so many guys with a chance to win. We’ve got a long way to go.”

Xander Schauffele, who shot 66 in the first round, slumped to 73 and is tied for 11th at 3 under.

Rickie Fowler, who also opened with 66, tumbled to a tie for 45th at 1 over after his 77. He had one birdie, five bogeys and one double-bogey in the round.

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Runaway golf cart injures U.S. Open fans

Runaway golf cart injures U.S. Open fans

Runaway golf cart injures U.S. Open fans

An unattended golf cart caused a scary scene Friday morning at the U.S. Open, injuring five people at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links.

The California Highway Patrol reported that the incident began when a vendor arrived at a concession stand near the 16th hole with his cart loaded with boxes.

The vendor stepped out of the cart, and one of the boxes fell on accelerator, prompting the vehicle to start moving. The vendor and four spectators, ages 25 to 82, were hurt, according to the (Salinas) Californian.

ESPN cited the CHP saying that one person sustained a broken arm while another had a spinal injury.

Multiple media outlets reported that one seriously injured person was transported to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, while those with lesser injuries were taken to Natividad Medical Center in Salinas.

Eyewitness Georgie Salant told golf.com, “We were standing in the concession line on the 16th hole when all of a sudden there was a runaway cart and one guy running after it, then a bunch of people running after it. It was actually coming straight for the concession line and then it turned, just on its own, and it didn’t stop! It started driving in circles. It ran over like, five people.”

Another unnamed witness told golf.com, “This one guy was trying to chase it and was diving after it trying to stop it, I think he was just a spectator. And he got injured diving after it. He was sitting on the ground for a while afterwards, not moving.

“Finally a guy jumped on it and turned the wheel really hard and then pushed the box off — it was crazy.”

The U.S. Golf Association, which runs the U.S. Open, issued a statement that listed a different number of injuries. The statement read: “Unfortunately, during today’s second round there was an incident involving a golf cart on the 16th hole that resulted in three spectators and a vendor being injured and requiring medical treatment. We will continue to monitor their conditions.”

–Field Level Media

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Woods steamed after late second-round collapse

Woods steamed after late second-round collapse

Woods steamed after late second-round collapse

Tiger Woods was failing to make a second-round dash at the U.S. Open and then the bottom fell out of his round.

Woods finished his Friday round with back-to-back bogeys — at Nos. 8 and 9 — for a 1-over 72 at Pebble Beach that left him in a foul mood.

Asked later by reporters if he was steaming, Woods said, “Yeah, I am. Not a very good finish.”

At that point, Woods was seven shots behind clubhouse leader Justin Rose of England with roughly half the field still on the scenic course in northern California.

Woods, at even-par 142, didn’t want to write himself off with 36 holes to go as he seeks his first U.S. Open win since his memorable 2008 triumph at Torrey Pines.

“Yeah, right now I’m still in the ballgame,” Woods said. “There’s so many guys with a chance to win. We’ve got a long way to go, and, you know, we’ll see how it shapes up for tomorrow.

“The golf course can be a little bit faster, a little bit more springy than it was today, and scores will continue to back up a little bit.”

Woods recorded a birdie on the par-4 11th on his second hole of the day before shooting par on 14 consecutive holes.

While he wasn’t making a splash, he wasn’t sinking either — until he reached the eighth hole and put his second shot in the rough to the right. He eventually two-putted for a bogey.

Woods’ tee shot on the ninth hole landed in a bunker, and his second shot settled into the heavy rough. After reaching the green, he again two-putted as his par putt slid wide left of the hole.

Woods was highly upset after walking off No. 9. After taking time to cool down, he said he knows he missed some key opportunities.

“It’s just a matter of leaving the ball in the right spots,” Woods said. “And yesterday I did that; today I didn’t. I was above the hole. And just wasn’t as crisp as I needed to be to put the ball below the hole each and every shot.”

–Field Level Media

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Texans cease Caserio pursuit for GM post

Texans cease Caserio pursuit for GM post

Nick Caserio

Texans cease Caserio pursuit for GM post

Nick Caserio is staying with the New England Patriots as the Texans withdrew their request to interview Bill Belichick’s right-hand man for the vacant general manager post in Houston.

New England, in turn, dropped tampering charges, according to multiple media reports.

“When we started the process to interview Nick Caserio for our EVP/GM position, we consulted the League office on numerous occasions, followed the procedures outlined in the League’s rules and believed we were in full compliance. We have now been made aware of certain terms in Nick’s contract with the Patriots. Once we were made aware of these contract terms, I informed Mr. Kraft that we would stop pursuing Nick,” Texans CEO Cal McNair said Friday in a prepared statement.

The Patriots filed tampering charges against the Texans and the NFL opened an investigation regarding attempts to lure Patriots director of player personnel Caserio to Houston to become general manager.

However, on Friday, Patriots owner Bob Kraft said in a statement, “The Houston Texans and the New England Patriots have always had a great working relationship. We appreciate the way Cal McNair has handled this situation.”

The Texans fired former GM Brian Gaine on June 7, 17 months after giving him a five-year contract and one day after the Patriots’ Super Bowl ring ceremony. According to multiple reports, new Texans executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby — the Patriots’ former team chaplain — was at Thursday’s ring ceremony, as was Caserio.

Asked Tuesday if he or Easterby had contact with Caserio or his representatives before Gaine’s firing, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien told reporters, “I would say that the answer to that is not relative to contact about anything having to do with the Houston Texans. No.”

The Texans formally requested permission to interview Caserio, just as they did in January 2018, when the Patriots denied the request and the Texans moved on to hire Gaine.

Caserio, 43, has held his position since 2008 as the top personnel man for Belichick, who has final authority on personnel decisions. He is also close with O’Brien, who coached in New England from 2007 to 2011.

Caserio has turned down numerous overtures for GM jobs in the past, though he was allowed to interview with the Miami Dolphins in 2014. He was widely considered the favorite for the Texans’ job if he is interested.

Houston has reportedly interviewed San Francisco 49ers vice president of player personnel Martin Mayhew — the former Detroit Lions GM — and former Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer for the opening.

However, another possibility arose Friday when ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Texans might opt to go without a GM for “less than a year.” O’Brien, Easterby and the team’s scouting department could share the GM duties for the rest of the year, according to Schefter.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys TE Gathers suspended for one game

Cowboys TE Gathers suspended for one game

Dallas Cowboys tight end

Cowboys TE Gathers suspended for one game

Dallas Cowboys tight end Rico Gathers has been suspended for one game without pay due to a violation of the NFL’s policy on substance abuse, the league announced Friday.

The discipline is related to Gathers’ arrest on Aug. 31 in Frisco, Texas, on suspicion of marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in March and avoided jail time.

Gathers, 25, is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games. He will be eligible to rejoin the Cowboys on Sept. 9, one day after the opener against the New York Giants.

Gathers caught three passes for 45 yards in 15 games last season in his first career NFL action. Dallas made him a sixth-round pick in 2016 even though he didn’t play college football.

Gathers played four seasons of basketball at Baylor from 2012-16 and became the first player in school history to compile more than 1,000 career points and rebounds. He finished his career with 1,208 points and 1,134 rebounds.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Texans abandon bid for Pats’ Caserio

NFL notebook: Texans abandon bid for Pats' Caserio

Nick Caserio is staying with

NFL notebook: Texans abandon bid for Pats’ Caserio

Nick Caserio is staying with the New England Patriots as the Texans withdrew their request Friday to interview Bill Belichick’s right-hand man for the vacant general manager post in Houston.

New England, in turn, dropped tampering charges, according to multiple media reports.

The Texans formally requested permission to interview Caserio, just as they did in January 2018, when the Patriots denied the request and the Texans moved on to hire Brian Gaine, who was fired on June 7.

Caserio, 43, has held his position since 2008 as the top personnel man for Belichick, who has final authority on personnel decisions.

–Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II will be retried in San Diego County on eight charges that left jurors deadlocked earlier this week.

On Monday, Winslow was found guilty of one count of felony rape as well as misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure and lewd conduct, and he was acquitted on another lewd-conduct charge.

The jury, however, couldn’t agree on the other eight charges, which included six felony counts, and Judge Blaine K. Bowman declared a mistrial. The new trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 30.

–A day after the Patriots announced they acquired tight end Michael Roberts from Detroit, the Lions tweeted that Roberts “reverted back to the team’s roster, per trade conditions” and subsequently was released.

Roberts, entering his third season, was a fourth-round pick out of Toledo in 2017. The 25-year-old has 13 receptions and three touchdowns in 23 career games.

–Dallas Cowboys tight end Rico Gathers was suspended for one game without pay due to a violation of the NFL’s policy on substance abuse.

The discipline is related to Gathers’ arrest on Aug. 31 in Frisco, Texas, on suspicion of marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in March and avoided jail time.

–Field Level Media

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Prosecutors to retry Winslow on eight counts

Prosecutors to retry Winslow on eight counts

Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow

Prosecutors to retry Winslow on eight counts

Former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II will be retried on eight charges that left jurors deadlocked earlier this week.

Prosecutors in San Diego County announced their decision Friday.

On Monday, Winslow was found guilty of one count of felony rape as well as misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure and lewd conduct, and he was acquitted on another lewd-conduct charge.

The jury, however, couldn’t agree on the other eight charges, which included six felony counts, and Judge Blaine K. Bowman declared a mistrial.

The new trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 30.

The rape Winslow was found guilty of involved a 58-year-old homeless woman in 2018.

The indecent exposure incident involved a 57-year-old woman who was gardening in her front yard. The lewd conduct incident involved a 77-year-old woman at a health club.

Winslow is the son of former San Diego Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow. The Hall of Famer was in the courtroom daily, including when the verdicts against his son were read on Monday.

Kellen Winslow II played nine NFL seasons and caught 469 passes for 5,236 yards and 25 touchdowns with the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and New York Jets. He was the sixth overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft out of Miami (Fla.).

–Field Level Media

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Lions waive TE Roberts after trade called off

Lions waive TE Roberts after trade called off

Just a day after the New England

Lions waive TE Roberts after trade called off

Just a day after the New England Patriots announced they acquired tight end Michael Roberts from the Detroit Lions, the trade is off.

The Lions tweeted Friday afternoon that Roberts “reverted back to the team’s roster, per trade conditions” and subsequently was released.

No reason was given for the nullification of the trade, which would have sent a seventh-round draft pick to Detroit.

Roberts, entering his third season, was a fourth-round pick out of Toledo in 2017. The 25-year-old has 13 receptions and three touchdowns in 23 career games.

New England has been searching to bolster its tight end group since the retirement of Rob Gronkowski earlier this year.

–Field Level Media

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Rose leading at midway point of second round at U.S. Open

Rose leading at midway point of second round at U.S. Open

Rose leading at midway point of second round at U.S. Open

England’s Justin Rose was the clubhouse leader with a 7-under-par 135 as the U.S. Open neared the midway point of the second round on Friday at Pebble Beach on the shores of northern California.

Rose shot a 1-under 70 in the second round and held a two-shot lead over Aaron Wise.

Rose had three birdies and two bogeys on Friday. He shot a blistering 65 in the opening round.

“I’m happy. I felt there was an opportunity to go a few better,” Rose told Fox Sports 1 after his round “… You’re going to make some mistakes during the course of the week. You shake it off and that’s what U.S. Opens are all about.”

Wise, who fired a first-round 66, had consistency issues while carding a 71 that left him at 5 under.

Wise had five birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey.

Two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka was three shots off the pace after his second straight 69. He is the first defending champ since Scott Simpson in 1988 to score under 70 in his first two rounds.

Koepka had three birdies and one bogey while hitting 12 of 14 fairways. He did experience some putting issues.

“Funny thing was I was hitting good putts,” Koepka told Fox Sports 1 after his round. “I don’t mind it if I’m going to hit good putts and they’re going to miss. That happened today. Ball striking was tremendously better today. … Never really felt like I had to work. It was quite an easy round.”

Also tied with Koepka at 4 under were Matt Kuchar (69), Chesson Hadley (70) and Chez Reavie (70). Kuchar made an eagle putt on 18 to end his round.

Tiger Woods bogeyed his final two holes — at Nos. 8 and 9 — to post a 72. He sits seven strokes behind Rose.

Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen — who all shot 66 in the first round — and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (68 on Thursday) all had afternoon tee times.

–Field Level Media

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Broncos owner Bowlen dies at 75

Broncos owner Bowlen dies at 75

Pat Bowlen, who won three

Broncos owner Bowlen dies at 75

Pat Bowlen, who won three Super Bowls over three decades as owner of the Denver Broncos, died Thursday at age 75 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Broncos revealed in a statement shortly after midnight local time Friday that Bowlen passed away at his home in Denver.

The Bowlen family released a statement via the team that said: “We are saddened to inform everyone that our beloved husband and father, Pat Bowlen, passed on to the next chapter of his life late Thursday night peacefully at home surrounded by family. His soul will live on through the Broncos, the city of Denver and all of our fans.

“Our family wishes to express its sincere gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received in recent years. Heaven got a little bit more orange and blue tonight.

“Pat Bowlen had a competitive spirit with a great sense of humor. As fun-loving as he was, he always wanted us to understand the big picture. We will forever remember his kindness and humility.

“More important than being an incredible owner, Pat Bowlen was an incredible human being.”

Bowlen bought the Broncos in 1984. He served as the team’s CEO until 2014, when he stepped down from day-to-day operations after announcing he was fighting Alzheimer’s, a disease his wife, Annabel, was diagnosed with last year. Longtime executive Joe Ellis has run the team since 2014.

“This is a very sad day for our organization, our community and the National Football League,” Ellis said. “Pat Bowlen was the heart and soul of the Denver Broncos. Not only was Pat a Hall of Fame owner, he was a Hall of Fame person. His competitiveness, kindness and humility are the qualities that I will always remember. Even during his battle with Alzheimer’s, you could still see that same strength and dignity in Pat that he brought to the office every single day for more than 30 years.”

Bowlen will be inducted posthumously into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August along with the 2019 class.

Since Bowlen purchased the team, the Broncos have as many Super Bowl appearances as losing seasons (seven) and the league’s third-best winning percentage (.597), claiming three Lombardi Trophies in the 1997, 1998 and 2015 seasons. Bowlen also helped negotiate the league’s new $18 billion television contract while serving on the league’s broadcasting committee.

“Pat was the driving force in establishing the championship culture of the Broncos,” Ellis said. “He was also an extraordinary leader at the league level during a key period of growth. …There will never be another owner like Pat Bowlen.

Bowlen is survived by his wife and his seven children: Amie, Beth, Patrick, Johnny, Brittany, Annabel and Christianna.

–Field Level Media

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Broncos owner Bowlen dies at age 75

Broncos owner Bowlen dies at age 75

Pat Bowlen, who won

Broncos owner Bowlen dies at age 75

Pat Bowlen, who won three Super Bowls over three decades as owner of the Denver Broncos, died Thursday at age 75 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Broncos revealed in a statement shortly after midnight local time Friday that Bowlen passed away at his home in Denver.

The Bowlen family released a comment via the team’s statement that said: “We are saddened to inform everyone that our beloved husband and father, Pat Bowlen, passed on to the next chapter of his life late Thursday night peacefully at home surrounded by family. His soul will live on through the Broncos, the city of Denver and all of our fans.

“Our family wishes to express its sincere gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received in recent years. Heaven got a little bit more orange and blue tonight.

“Pat Bowlen had a competitive spirit with a great sense of humor. As fun-loving as he was, he always wanted us to understand the big picture. We will forever remember his kindness and humility.

“More important than being an incredible owner, Pat Bowlen was an incredible human being.”

Bowlen bought the Broncos in 1984. He served as the team’s CEO until 2014, when he stepped down from day-to-day operations after announcing he was fighting Alzheimer’s, a disease his wife, Annabel, was diagnosed with earlier this year. Longtime executive Joe Ellis has run the team since 2014.

Since Bowlen purchased the team, the Broncos have as many Super Bowl appearances as losing seasons (seven) and the league’s third-best winning percentage (.597), claiming three Lombardi Trophies in the 1997, 1998 and 2015 seasons. Bowlen also helped negotiate the league’s new $18 billion television contract while serving on the league’s broadcasting committee.

Bowlen is posthumously scheduled to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August along with the 2019 class.

Bowlen is survived by his wife, Annabel, and his seven children: Amie, Beth, Patrick, Johnny, Brittany, Annabel and Christianna.

–Field Level Media

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Rose ties Tiger’s U.S. Open record to lead at Pebble Beach

Rose ties Tiger's U.S. Open record to lead at Pebble Beach

Rose ties Tiger’s U.S. Open record to lead at Pebble Beach

England’s Justin Rose punctuated a day of record-smashing scoring by the field on Thursday, rolling in a birdie putt on his final hole to tie Tiger Woods’ all-time record at a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach with a 6-under-par 65.

Rose isn’t likely to pull away like Woods did in 2000 for a 15-stroke victory. His birdie on 18 put him one shot clear of Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Aaron Wise and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen.

Rose needed only 22 putts Thursday, and was a perfect 15-for-15 from inside 10 feet. He rolled in three consecutive birdies to finish his round, and said he knew the final one was for something special when it dropped in while playing with Woods.

“The only reason that I knew is that, I think maybe Rickie (Fowler) had that putt (for the record) earlier today,” Rose told FOX Sports. “I was watching a little bit of the coverage … so on the last hole I thought, ‘This would be kind of cool to do it in front of the great man himself.'”

Rose hit only nine greens, but made a number of sand saves and relied heavily on the most improved aspect of his game. The 2013 U.S. Open champion at Merion entered the week ranked 11th on Tour in putting.

“Any U.S. Open, you have to manage your game,” he said. “The premium here isn’t necessarily about length, it’s about keeping the ball under the hole. But I don’t know if I did a good job of anything well today except scrambling. Which is nice, it’s nice to score like that and know there’s a little bit more in the long game.”

Scott Piercy, who was twice at 5 under during the morning wave, bogeyed his final hole to drop to 4 under, where he is tied for sixth place with Nate Lashley. A group of eight players another shot off the pace includes Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, Italy’s Francesco Molinari and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.

Two-time defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka reached 3 under before suffering his lone bogey of the day at the par-3 17th. He is tied for 16th along with Matt Kuchar, Spain’s Sergio Garcia and amateur Viktor Hovland.

“I felt really comfortable right out of the gates and struck it nicely,” said Koepka, who has won four of the past nine majors. “Unfortunately, I didn’t hit it as well on the back nine. And if you don’t hit greens out here, you’re not going to score. You can shoot yourself out of it today, and I didn’t do that.”

Woods battled an inconsistent iron game throughout his first round. Like his playing partner Rose, Woods used a bevy of hard-earned scrambles for par to get into the clubhouse in a tie for 28th at 1 under.

Playing in the morning wave, Fowler carded six birdies against a lone bogey. He pulled his approach shot left on the par-5 18th hole, and his birdie putt slid right of the cup, preventing Fowler from beating Rose to the punch in tying Woods’ Pebble Beach record.

“I thought I made it as soon as I hit it, just didn’t really react the way I thought it would,” Fowler told FOX Sports. “To be honest, I felt like that was about as bad as I could have shot. I thought there was more out there.

“It was just a fun day, it’s nice when you can shoot a stress-free 66 and get off to a good start for the week.”

Fowler was alone atop the scoreboard when he left the course, but he soon was joined by Schauffele and Oosthuizen, who chipped in for eagle on his second hole of the day and holed out from a green-side bunker on No. 9 to finish it.

Schauffele also had an eagle, but did it in dramatic fashion on the 18th hole after ricocheting his drive off the rocks along the ocean. He went on to cap off a 5-under 31 on the back nine.

“My round was solid, but I feel very fortunate just because of that late eagle,” he said. “I hit two really bad shots and a great putt, and that’s how that 3 occurred there.”

McIlroy carded a 3-under 68 in the morning wave despite failing to birdie any of the three par-5s.

“I think I did what I wanted to do,” McIlroy told FOX Sports with a sigh. “I feel like I just did everything you need to do in a U.S. Open. I stayed patient. I bogeyed the first hole, then played really, really solid golf after that.

“I did what you’re supposed to do at a U.S. Open — made a lot of pars, chipped off the birdies when you can … and I thought it was a good day’s work.”

Fowler’s day included six birdies against a lone bogey. Most important, he hit 13 fairways — his most on Tour this season.

“It definitely helps everything out from there. Driving the ball well frees you up a bit. I feel like I’m swinging it well throughout the bag. You gotta get the ball in the fairway to allow yourself to use the rest of your game to your advantage. If you don’t drive it in the fairway, you’re just playing catch-up.”

McIlroy was candid earlier in the week how important he felt getting off to a fast start would be. It has been five years and 17 starts since his last major victory, but McIlroy has also gone on to win the past three majors in which he opened with a 68 or better.

“Especially trying to get back to winning these big events, you know, it is important,” McIlroy said of Thursday’s start. “The first two majors of the year, I think I shot 73 at Augusta and I shot over par at Bethpage (in the PGA Championship) as well. It’s so hard to chase, especially when the golf courses are so hard.

“To get off to a good start like this today … you’re right in the tournament from the start, which is a nice position to be in.”

NOTES: World No. 2 Dustin Johnson shot an even-par 71. He is one shot ahead of Phil Mickelson, who won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February. … Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell (2-under 69), the winner of the last U.S. Open held at Pebble Beach in 2010, put together his first bogey-free round in a major since the 2009 PGA Championship at Bellerive. … Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard carded a 6-over 11 on the 18th hole Friday, the highest score on a single hole in a U.S. Open since John Daly’s 14 on 18 at Pebble Beach in 2000. Bjerregaard hit his first two tee shots left into Pacific Ocean and his third out of bounds.

–Field Level Media

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Tiger grinds out opening 70 at Pebble Beach

Tiger grinds out opening 70 at Pebble Beach

Tiger grinds out opening 70 at Pebble Beach

Tiger Woods hit 9 of 14 fairways and drained 11 one-putts during the first round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach on Thursday — stats that before the round would have brought predictions of a potentially dominating lead.

Instead, on a day of record scoring, he wound up five shots back of the leader, England’s Justin Rose, in a tie for 28th after a 1-under-par 70.

The driver has always been the most inconsistent club in Woods’ bag, and the once-mighty putter has been far more average since his return from a fourth back procedure in his 40s.

Considered arguably the best iron player in the history of the game, Woods hit a “double-cross” off the tee on the par-3 5th hole that foreshadowed issues with his iron play throughout his opening round at Pebble Beach, Calif. He wound up with a bogey on that hole.

He rebounded with birdies on the next two holes, but he still didn’t stick iron shots on either hole as close as expected. Woods then drilled the fairway on Nos. 9-11 but missed the green with all three approach shots and had to scramble for pars.

Woods attempted to reach the par-5 14th hole in two, but left it in the front bunker. He clipped the shot out of the sand clear over the putting surface, chipped it back onto the green and then hit a 30-foot par putt that elicited a fist pump.

“I probably shouldn’t have tried to fly it that far back,” he acknowledged to FOX Sports. “I clipped it, and I was just trying to hack out and take my medicine and happened to hit a putt.”

Woods also had a chance to reach the par-5 18th in two, but he pulled his approach shot left into the back of another bunker. He played a safe bunker shot to 30 feet and two-putted for his 11th consecutive par.

“It was a grind, wow,” Woods said with a grin. “Pebble Beach, you have like the first seven holes and you can get it going. After that, it’s a fight, and I kind of proved that today. Just kind of hung in there, and just kind of grinded along.

“I was trying to just kind of hang in there today. Just kind of one of those days.”

With a morning tee time starting on the 10th hole Friday, Woods said he was “done” on Thursday and would focus on rest rather than going back to the range to work on his game.

–Field Level Media

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Report: ESPN’s McShay out of running for role with Jets

Report: ESPN's McShay out of running for role with Jets

Report: ESPN’s McShay out of running for role with Jets

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay has removed himself from consideration for a job in the New York Jets’ front office, according to his network colleague Chris Mortensen.

McShay, 42, told ESPN’s Rich Cimini last weekend that new Jets general manager Joe Douglas “is considering multiple options and I’m one of the options.”

Douglas and McShay were teammates at Richmond in the mid-1990s. After injuring his back, McShay stopping playing and performed a variety of duties for the Spiders, including videotaping practices and evaluating players.

McShay has been part of ESPN’s draft coverage since 2006.

Mortensen tweeted that Champ Kelly, the Chicago Bears’ assistant director of player personnel, is a “prominent candidate” to join Douglas’ personnel staff with the Jets.

–Field Level Media

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Chiefs K Butker signs contract extension

Chiefs K Butker signs contract extension

The

Chiefs K Butker signs contract extension

The Kansas City Chiefs signed kicker Harrison Butker to a contract extension on Thursday, with NFL Network reporting that the deal is worth five years, $20.3 million.

Butker confirmed the contract extension on Twitter, saying he was “proud to announce that I’ve signed an extension” and that he is “excited to be a part of this team for the next six years.”

In his second year with the Chiefs in 2018, Butker, 23, was 16 of 16 on field-goal attempts under 40 yards. He ended the regular season 24 of 27 on all field-goal attempts, and was 65 of 69 on extra-point attempts, with both totals leading the NFL.

The Georgia Tech product, who was previously signed off the Carolina Panthers practice squad, was 2 of 2 on field-goal attempts in two playoff games last season. Including bonuses, Butker could make as much as $21.5 million on the deal.

–Field Level Media

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Eagles add GM back to Roseman’s title

Eagles add GM back to Roseman's title

Howie Roseman is again general manager of

Eagles add GM back to Roseman’s title

Howie Roseman is again general manager of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Roseman, executive vice president of football operations since 2015, was operating in a de facto GM role with the team. He formally held the position for four seasons but gave it up during Chip Kelly’s run as head coach.

Instrumental in constructing a Super Bowl roster in 2017, Roseman helped make the moves needed to draft Carson Wentz and last week signed off on the quarterback’s new contract. He also was vital in selecting head coach Doug Pederson as Kelly’s replacement.

On Thursday, Roseman’s GM title was restored as Joe Douglas left the Eagles to become general manager of the New York Jets.

Douglas was the Eagles’ vice president of player personnel.

Roseman has been with the Eagles for 20 years, starting in a salary-cap advisory role before blending into personnel.

“Joe Douglas did such an outstanding job for us and has such an outstanding reputation around the league that we knew we had to be prepared and we knew that we had to have a succession plan,” Roseman said Thursday, announcing Andy Weidl was promoted to help fill Douglas’ role.

“We want everyone here to see that there’s room for growth, that there is room for continued titles and promotions based on us winning and good things happening for the organization. We want the people in this organization to know that they have opportunities to grow within the areas of their expertise and expand their repertoire of knowledge while helping us win football games.”

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Chiefs TE Kelce eager to return

NFL notebook: Chiefs TE Kelce eager to return

NFL notebook: Chiefs TE Kelce eager to return

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce expects to be 100 percent at the start of training camp next month.

Kelce said he’ll be recovered from offseason ankle surgery when the Chiefs take the field at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo.

“I’m ready to go,” Kelce said. “It’s kind of been a little bit of an experience just not being able to really go out there and train for the upcoming season quite yet. I don’t know if I’ve had an injury that hasn’t allowed me to get on the field, at least a little bit in the offseason, outside of my knee surgery my first year.”

Kelce, 29, was named All-Pro in 2018 — he caught 103 passes for 1,336 yards and 10 touchdowns — and described the offseason as “frustrating.” The Chiefs lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, and Kelce has spent the entire offseason as an observer.

–Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa said the hamstring injury that forced him to miss OTAs and minicamp shouldn’t keep him off the field when the San Francisco 49ers open training camp next month.

“I think I’m going to be just fine,” Bosa told NBC Sports Bay Area. “I’m going to get this hammy perfectly right, and I think there will be plenty of time to play football and get the reps that I need.”

Bosa was diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring strain on May 23. The No. 2 overall pick in April’s NFL draft hasn’t played in a game since September, when he suffered a core muscle injury playing for Ohio State.

–New England added tight end Michael Roberts in a trade with the Detroit Lions.

According to multiple reports, the Lions are owed a seventh-round pick in return.

The Patriots are shuffling into life after Rob Gronkowski at tight end with significant uncertainty. Roberts, entering his third season, was a fourth-round pick out of Toledo in 2017.

–The Indianapolis Colts and Kenny Moore agreed on a four-year contract extension that will make him the NFL’s highest-paid slot cornerback in terms of guaranteed money, according to multiple reports.

Moore reportedly is assured of $18 million, more than the $16 million guarantee that the Detroit Lions gave Justin Coleman in March.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Moore’s extension includes $30 million for 2020-23, with a maximum value of $36 million. ESPN reported that the extension could rise to $40 million total with escalators.

–Replay reviews of potential pass-interference calls in the last two minutes of games and in overtime will be initiated by the replay official and not coaches, but the bar will be set high for such video checks, the NFL’s competition committee announced.

A previous proposal would have put the onus on coaches to ask for late-game reviews of possible pass interference, but the protocol was changed after coaches reportedly disapproved with that plan.

The announcement doesn’t constitute an official policy for the 2019 season, as the NFL will give teams until next week to provide feedback on the latest tweak.

–The Chiefs signed kicker Harrison Butker to a contract extension, with NFL Network reporting that the deal is worth $20.3 million over five years.

Butker confirmed the contract extension on Twitter, saying he was “proud to announce that I’ve signed an extension” and that he is “excited to be a part of this team for the next six years.”

In his second year with the Chiefs in 2018, Butker, 23, was 16 of 16 on field-goal attempts under 40 yards. He ended the regular season 24 of 27 on all field-goal attempts, and was 65 of 69 on extra-point attempts, with both totals leading the NFL.

–Howie Roseman is again general manager of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Roseman, executive vice president of football operations since 2015, was operating in a de facto GM role with the team. He formally held the position for four seasons but gave it up during Chip Kelly’s run as head coach.

Instrumental in constructing a Super Bowl roster in 2017, Roseman helped make the moves needed to draft Carson Wentz and last week signed off on the quarterback’s new contract. He also was vital in selecting head coach Doug Pederson as Kelly’s replacement.

–A former Houston Texans employee accused the team of discrimination in a federal complaint, alleging recently fired general manager Brian Gaine “targeted” African-American employees, USA Today reported.

Jeff Pope was the team’s security coordinator until he was fired on May 8. In a 4,500-word filing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, he alleges he is one of nine African-Americans fired by Gaine since the team named him GM in January 2018.

The Texans abruptly fired Gaine last Friday. Chairman and CEO Cal McNair said Gaine was let go after “a thorough evaluation of our football operations.”

–Field Level Media

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Fowler among three tied for early U.S. Open lead

Fowler among three tied for early U.S. Open lead

Fowler among three tied for early U.S. Open lead

Rickie Fowler narrowly missed a birdie putt on the final hole that would have tied the U.S. Open scoring record at Pebble Beach, settling for a 5-under-par 66 on Thursday to share the lead with Xander Schauffele and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen after the morning wave.

With players taking advantage of ideal scoring conditions along the Monterrey Peninsula, it was the first time there were three scores of 66 or better in a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach — and the afternoon wave was just starting.

Fowler carded six birdies against a lone bogey. He pulled his approach shot left on the par-5 18th hole, and his birdie putt slid right of the cup, preventing Fowler from tying Tiger Woods’ U.S. Open course-record 65 from the first round in 2000.

“I thought I made it as soon as I hit it, just didn’t really react the way I thought it would,” Fowler told FOX Sports. “To be honest, I felt like that was about as bad as I could have shot. I thought there was more out there.

“It was just a fun day, it’s nice when you can shoot a stress-free 66 and get off to a good start for the week.”

Fowler was alone atop the scoreboard when he left the course, but he soon was joined by Schauffele and Oosthuizen, who chipped in for eagle on his second hole of the day.

Schauffele equaled the feat, but did it in dramatic fashion with an eagle on the 18th hole after ricocheting his drive off the rocks along the peninsula. He went on to cap off a 5-under 31 on the back nine.

“My round was solid, but I feel very fortunate just because of that late eagle,” he told FOX Sports. “I hit two really bad shots and a great putt, and that’s how that 3 occurred there.”

Scott Piercy was the first to reach 5 under for the tournament with an eagle on the par-5 sixth hole. He went 1 over the rest of the way, missing a par putt on No. 18 to fall to 4 under, which he called a “kick in the stomach.”

Piercy finished with the eagle, five birdies, a bogey and a double bogey.

“I thought it was set up really fair,” Piercy said of the course. “If you hit a good shot, you got rewarded for it. If you miss, which I did a couple of times, you really had to scramble.”

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy was among a group of four players another shot off the pace. He carded a 3-under 68 despite failing to birdie any of the three par-5s.

“I think I did what I wanted to do,” McIlroy told FOX Sports with a sigh. “I feel like I just did everything you need to do in a U.S. Open. I stayed patient. I bogeyed the first hole, then played really, really solid golf after that.

“I did what you’re supposed to do at a U.S. Open — made a lot of pars, chipped off the birdies when you can … and I thought it was a good day’s work.”

Fowler’s day included six birdies against a lone bogey. Most important, he hit 13 fairways — his most on Tour this season.

“It definitely helps everything out from there. Driving the ball well frees you up a bit. I feel like I’m swinging it well throughout the bag. You gotta get the ball in the fairway to allow yourself to use the rest of your game to your advantage. If you don’t drive it in the fairway, you’re just playing catch-up.”

McIlroy was candid earlier in the week how important he felt getting off to a fast start would be. It has been five years and 17 starts since his last major victory, but McIlroy has also gone on to win the past three majors in which he opened with a 68 or better.

“Especially trying to get back to winning these big events, you know, it is important,” McIlroy said of Thursday’s start. “The first two majors of the year, I think I shot 73 at Augusta and I shot over par at Bethpage (in the PGA Championship) as well. It’s so hard to chase, especially when the golf courses are so hard.

“To get off to a good start like this today … you’re right in the tournament from the start, which is a nice position to be in.”

NOTES: World No. 2 Dustin Johnson shot an even-par 71. He is one shot ahead of Phil Mickelson, who won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February. … Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell (2-under 69), the winner of the last U.S. Open held at Pebble Beach in 2010, put together his first bogey-free round in a major since the 2009 PGA Championship at Bellerive.

–Field Level Media

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NFL: Late-game PI reviews will come from booth

NFL: Late-game PI reviews will come from booth

Replay reviews

NFL: Late-game PI reviews will come from booth

Replay reviews of potential pass-interference calls in the last two minutes of games and in overtime will be initiated by the replay official and not coaches, but the bar will be set high for such video checks, the NFL’s competition committee announced Thursday.

A previous proposal would have put the onus on coaches to ask for late-game reviews of possible pass interference, but the protocol was changed after coaches reportedly disapproved with that plan.

The NFL’s statement read, in part, “After the two-minute warning of each half and during overtime, the Replay Official will stop the game to initiate a review for pass interference under stricter criteria than for other reviewable plays to prevent excessive game stoppages. …

“A decision on the field will only be reversed when there is ‘clear and obvious visual evidence’ that warrants a change.”

The Thursday announcement doesn’t constitute an official policy for the 2019 season, as the NFL will give teams until next week to provide feedback on the latest tweak.

The league also announced that it would not take an overly lenient view of Hail Mary plays during video checks. Referees on the field generally allow more contact on Hail Mary passes than on typical passes.

“The ‘Hail Mary’ play will be reviewed in replay consistent with the guidelines for officiating the play on the field,” according to the league statement.

The move to allow replay review of possible pass-interference penalties was sparked by a play at the end of this year’s NFC Championship Game. Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman clearly hit New Orleans Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis before the ball arrived, but no call was made.

Had the penalty been called, the Saints could have lined up for a game-winning field goal as time expired. Instead, the Rams ultimately won the game in overtime and advanced to the Super Bowl.

–Field Level Media

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Chiefs TE Kelce on schedule for training camp

Chiefs TE Kelce on schedule for training camp

Chiefs TE Kelce on schedule for training camp

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce expects to be 100 percent at the start of training camp next month.

Kelce said he’ll be fully recovered from offseason ankle surgery when the Chiefs take the field at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo.

“I’m ready to go,” Kelce said. “It’s kind of been a little bit of an experience just not being able to really go out there and train for the upcoming season quite yet. I don’t know if I’ve had an injury that hasn’t allowed me to get on the field, at least a little bit in the offseason, outside of my knee surgery my first year.”

Kelce, 29, was named All-Pro in 2018 — he caught 103 passes for 1,336 yards and 10 touchdowns — and described the offseason as “frustrating.” The Chiefs lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game, and Kelce has spent the entire offseason as an observer.

“Right now, just getting healthy is the main thing, and I think we’re there. I think by the time training camp comes around, I’ll be 100 percent,” Kelce said.

–Field Level Media

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Ex-Texans employee: Ex-GM Gaine ‘targeted minorities in leadership’

Ex-Texans employee: Ex-GM Gaine 'targeted minorities in leadership'

A former Houston Texans employee accused the

Ex-Texans employee: Ex-GM Gaine ‘targeted minorities in leadership’

A former Houston Texans employee accused the team of discrimination in a federal complaint, alleging recently fired general manager Brian Gaine “targeted” African-American employees, USA Today reported Thursday.

Jeff Pope was the team’s security coordinator until he was fired on May 8. In a 4,500-word filing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, he alleges he is one of nine African-Americans fired by Gaine since the team named him GM in January 2018.

The Texans abruptly fired Gaine last Friday. Chairman and CEO Cal McNair said Gaine was being let go after “a thorough evaluation of our football operations.”

Amy Palcic, a team spokeswoman, told The Houston Chronicle that Pope’s complaint “was not a factor in the recent decision to relieve Brian Gaine from his job as general manager.”

The team also issued a statement: “We have just been made aware of Mr. Pope’s claim. We do not comment on pending litigation. The Houston Texans do not tolerate personal or professional discrimination of any kind.”

Pope, in his filing, pointed the finger at Gaine.

“It appeared, and I believe, that he was targeting all minorities in leadership positions and was set to replace them with non-African-Americans. Which he did,” Pope wrote in the complaint, which was obtained by USA Today.

–Field Level Media

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Post-Gronk Patriots trade for TE Roberts

Post-Gronk Patriots trade for TE Roberts

New England added tight end Michael Roberts in a

Post-Gronk Patriots trade for TE Roberts

New England added tight end Michael Roberts in a trade with the Detroit Lions, agreed to on Thursday.

According to multiple reports, the Lions are owed a seventh-round pick in return.

The Patriots are shuffling into life after Rob Gronkowski at tight end with significant uncertainty. Roberts, entering his third season, was a fourth-round pick out of Toledo in 2017.

Matt LaCosse, who caught one touchdown in 15 games for the Denver Broncos last season, lined up with the first-team offense at mandatory mincamp for the Patriots this week. With Gronkowski retired, New England is counting on 38-year-old Benjamin Watson to hold off Father Time another year. But Watson, who was lured out of retirement, is suspended the first four games of the 2019 season.

Detroit drafted T.J. Hockenson in the first round, spent a seventh-round pick on Isaac Nauta and signed free agent Jesse James to fill out the tight end depth chart.

Gronkowski, 30, retired in March, taking his 79 career TD receptions and one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets out of the offensive gameplan.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: CB Moore, Colts agree to four-year extension

Reports: CB Moore, Colts agree to four-year extension

Reports: CB Moore, Colts agree to four-year extension

The Indianapolis Colts and Kenny Moore agreed on a four-year contract extension that will make him the NFL’s highest-paid slot cornerback, according to multiple reports.

Moore, who played at Valdosta State, signed with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2017. The Patriots placed him on waivers before the start of the season, and he was claimed by the Colts.

He had a breakout season in 2018. In 15 games, all starts, Moore made 77 tackles and had three interceptions, one forced fumble and 1.5 sacks.

–Field Level Media

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49ers’ Bosa says injury shouldn’t keep him from camp

49ers' Bosa says injury shouldn't keep him from camp

Rookie Nick Bosa said the hamstring injury

49ers’ Bosa says injury shouldn’t keep him from camp

Rookie Nick Bosa said the hamstring injury that forced him to miss OTAs and minicamp shouldn’t keep him off the field when the San Francisco 49ers open training camp next month.

“I think I’m going to be just fine,” Bosa told NBC Sports Bay Area. “I’m going to get this hammy perfectly right, and I think there will be plenty of time to play football and get the reps that I need.”

The defensive end was diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring strain on May 23.

“I was worried when it happened,” Bosa said. “I was pretty down on myself that I couldn’t stay on the field but once I got with the guys and just had some of the older guys talk me up a little bit, it’s been super helpful.”

Bosa, the No. 2 overall pick in April’s NFL draft, hasn’t played in a game since September, when he injured his core muscle playing for Ohio State.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said the hamstring isn’t all to watch with Bosa. He still hasn’t signed his rookie contract, and that could be delaying the signing of pick Nos. 3-6 , who have yet to agree to contracts.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Pats file tampering charges vs. Texans

NFL notebook: Pats file tampering charges vs. Texans

The Patriots filed tampering charges against the Texans

NFL notebook: Pats file tampering charges vs. Texans

The Patriots filed tampering charges against the Texans and the NFL opened an investigation, according to multiple reports Wednesday, regarding Houston’s attempts to hire New England director of player personnel Nick Caserio as its new general manager.

The Texans fired former GM Brian Gaine on Friday, 17 months after giving him a five-year contract and one day after the Patriots’ Super Bowl ring ceremony. According to multiple reports, new Texans executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby — the Patriots’ former team chaplain — was at Thursday’s ring ceremony, as was Caserio.

Asked Tuesday if he or Easterby had contact with Caserio or his representatives before Gaine’s firing, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien told reporters, “I would say that the answer to that is not relative to contact about anything having to do with the Houston Texans. No.”

The Texans have formally requested permission to interview Caserio, just as they did in January 2018, when the Patriots denied the request and the Texans moved on to hire Gaine.

–Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster wishes Antonio Brown’s run in Pittsburgh — which ended with his trade to the Oakland Raiders — had resolved more amicably.

Brown left Pittsburgh, torch in hand, criticizing management, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and other team leaders. He didn’t exactly share kind words about Smith-Schuster, either.

“The man’s a role model. In that situation, I didn’t want it to end like that,” Smith-Schuster said. “I have no hard feelings against him. Obviously if we’re ever in the same room, I’m going to say what’s up to him. I think hatred is a huge word to use against somebody. At the end of the day, he’s a great player, he comes out every day with work ethic. He worked hard. Other than that, I don’t have anything toward him like that.”

–The Kansas City Chiefs signed right tackle Mitchell Schwartz to a one-year extension, putting him under contract through 2021.

NFL Network reported the extra year is worth $11,255,000, with Schwartz’s 2019 and 2020 salaries fully guaranteed.

Schwartz, who was named first-team All-Pro in 2018, was scheduled to make $6.6 million in both 2019 and 2020, with a cap hit of $8 million in each season. It’s unclear if the contract structure in 2019 and 2020 was affected.

–Running back Sony Michel underwent minor knee surgery, causing him to miss offseason workouts with the Patriots, according to multiple reports.

A reason for his absence had not previously been revealed. The date of the knee scope was not announced, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Michel should be ready for training camp next month.

Michel wasn’t seen at any of the Patriots practices that were open to the media, including minicamp last week, during the offseason.

–The Tennessee Titans will retire quarterback Steve McNair’s No. 9 jersey and running back Eddie George’s No. 27 during the Sept. 15 home opener.

The pair, who led the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV, will be the first to have their jerseys retired after playing primarily for the Titans, since the team was rebranded from the Oilers in 1999.

Hall of Fame offensive tackle Bruce Matthews (No. 74) played five of his 19 seasons in Tennessee — after the team moved from Houston in 1997 — and three as a Titan, but none of the franchise’s other five with retired numbers played more recently than 1993.

–The Chicago Bears waived former Pitt kicker Chris Blewitt, one of three kickers at mandatory minicamp.

A day earlier, with the whole team and about 25 former Bears gathered to watch, all three kickers missed a 42-yard attempt.

“Um, whatever went through your mind went through my mind,” coach Matt Nagy said of the missed kicks. “Yeah, no, I mean, that’s about as real as it gets. They were 0-for-3 out there. For today, we can’t have that. We are going to figure this thing out, but 0-for-3 today, no good.”

–Baltimore Ravens first-round wideout Marquise Brown was cleared for individual drills, allowing him to practice with teammates for the first time.

Brown didn’t do much, but his progress in his recovery from a Lisfranc injury has him on track to be ready for training camp.

The Ravens drafted Brown 25th overall out of Oklahoma in April.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys WR Cooper says he won’t hold out

Cowboys WR Cooper says he won't hold out

Cowboys WR Cooper says he won’t hold out

Preparing for his first training camp with the Dallas Cowboys, wide receiver Amari Cooper is also entering the final season of his rookie contract.

However, the 24-year-old is far more focused on his team than his contract, and he vows to continue to practice through the offseason and not hold out in hopes of forcing the Cowboys’ hand.

“I just handle my business,” Cooper told reporters Wednesday at the Cowboys’ minicamp in Frisco, Texas. “I’m more anxious about camp and actually playing football. …

“I just want to get better and I love football. That’s why I’m here. I love coming out here doing seven-on-seven, routes on air, team periods and being able to showcase my ability. To be able to run routes, that’s like the greatest thing to me. It’s kind of like an art to me. It’s like a painter drawing or something like that. That’s how I feel every time I run a route.”

The Cowboys acquired Cooper from the Oakland Raiders last October in exchange for a 2019 first-round pick. After grabbing 22 balls for 280 yards and one touchdown in six games with Oakland, Cooper was a revelation for Dallas. In nine games, the 2015 first-round pick had 53 catches for 725 yards and six touchdowns, earning his third Pro Bowl selection despite the limited time with the team.

Drafted fourth overall out of Alabama by the Raiders in 2015, Cooper had consecutive 1,000-yard seasons — and consecutive Pro Bowl berths — in his first two seasons. But his numbers dipped in his third season in 2017 (48 catches and 680 yards — though he did score seven touchdowns), and when new coach Jon Gruden took over in 2018, his days in Oakland were numbered.

He is due $13.9 million for the 2019 season thanks to his fifth-year option. Odell Beckham is the highest-paid receiver in the league currently, making $18 million per season as he approaches his first season with the Cleveland Browns.

Antonio Brown ($16.7 million), Mike Evans ($16.5 million) and DeAndre Hopkins ($16.2 million) are next on the list. And receivers including Julio Jones, Mike Thomas and A.J. Green are also in talks for new deals with their teams.

But when it comes to measuring his contract against those of other receivers, Cooper said, “I ain’t counting nobody’s pockets.”

–Field Level Media

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Titans to retire jerseys for McNair, George

Titans to retire jerseys for McNair, George

The Tennessee Titans will retire quarterback Steve McNair's

Titans to retire jerseys for McNair, George

The Tennessee Titans will retire quarterback Steve McNair’s No. 9 jersey and running back Eddie George’s No. 27 during the Sept. 15 home opener, the team announced Wednesday.

The pair, which led the Titans to Super Bowl XXXIV, will be the first to have their jerseys retired after playing primarily for the Titans, since the team was rebranded from the Oilers in 1999.

Hall of Fame offensive tackle Bruce Matthews (No. 74) played five of his 19 seasons in Tennessee — after the team moved from Houston in 1997 — and three as a Titan, but none of the franchise’s other five with retired numbers played more recently than 1993.

“Steve and Eddie will be forever linked as two of the driving forces for our team in the late 90’s and early 2000’s,” owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement. “They were the heart and soul of the team and each made the other a better player and ultimately led to a great deal of team success. Their statistics will forever live in our record books, but their play and sacrifice is what our fans will always remember.”

McNair, who was tragically shot and killed in 2009, was drafted third overall by the then-Houston Oilers in 1995 and went on to start 131 of 139 games across 11 seasons with the franchise, throwing for 31,304 yards, 174 touchdowns and 119 interceptions, reaching three Pro Bowls and sharing MVP honors with Peyton Manning in 2003.

His number has not been worn by a Titan since he was traded to the Baltimore Ravens in 2006.

George, 45, was drafted 14th overall in 1996 and started all 128 games over eight seasons with the Titans, earning four Pro Bowl nods and All-Pro honors in 2000.

His number was been worn just once since he left Tennessee for the Dallas Cowboys in 2004, when running back Chris Henry used it briefly in 2009.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Pats’ Michel had knee scope, will be ready for camp

Reports: Pats' Michel had knee scope, will be ready for camp

Reports: Pats’ Michel had knee scope, will be ready for camp

Running back Sony Michel underwent minor knee surgery, causing him to miss offseason workouts with the New England Patriots, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

A reason for his absence had not been revealed.

The date of the knee scope was not announced, but NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said Michel should be ready for training camp next month.

Michel wasn’t seen at any of the Patriots practices that were open to the media, including minicamp last week, during the offseason.

The No. 31 overall draft pick in 2018, Michel has had a variety of knee issues. He tore an ACL in high school, then had a knee strain at Georgia in 2017.

He missed the first game of the 2018 season after having a knee procedure as training camp opened, and he missed two more games later in the year.

In 13 games, he rushed for 931 yards with six touchdowns. In three playoff games, including the Super Bowl, he had 336 yards rushing and six more TDs.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Pats accuse Texans of tampering with Caserio

Reports: Pats accuse Texans of tampering with Caserio

The

Reports: Pats accuse Texans of tampering with Caserio

The Patriots filed tampering charges against the Texans and the league opened an investigation, according to multiple reports Wednesday, regarding Houston’s attempts to hire New England director of player personnel Nick Caserio as its new general manager.

The Texans fired former GM Brian Gaine on Friday, 17 months after giving him a five-year contract and one day after the Patriots’ Super Bowl ring ceremony. According to multiple reports, new Texans executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby — the Patriots’ former team chaplain — was at Thursday’s ring ceremony, as was Caserio.

Asked Tuesday if he or Easterby had contact with Caserio or his representatives before Gaine’s firing, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien told reporters, “I would say that the answer to that is no relative to contact about anything having to do with the Houston Texans. No.”

The Texans have formally requested permission to interview Caserio, just as they did in January of 2018, when the Patriots denied the request and the Texans moved on to hire Gaine.

Caserio, 43, has held his position since 2008 as the top personnel man for Bill Belichick, who has final authority on personnel decisions. He is also close with O’Brien, who coached in New England from 2007 to 2011.

Caserio has turned down numerous overtures for GM jobs in the past, though he was allowed to interview with the Miami Dolphins in 2014. He is widely considered the favorite for the Texans’ job if he is interested.

Houston has reportedly interviewed San Francisco 49ers vice president of player personnel Martin Mayhew — the former Detroit Lions GM — and former Cleveland Browns GM Ray Farmer for the opening.

–Field Level Media

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Chiefs sign RT Schwartz to extension

Chiefs sign RT Schwartz to extension

Chiefs sign RT Schwartz to extension

The Kansas City Chiefs signed right tackle Mitchell Schwartz to a one-year extension, putting him under contract through 2021, Schwartz’s agent said Wednesday.

Agent Mike McCartney announced the one-year deal on Twitter.

NFL Network reported the extra year is worth $11.255 million, with Schwartz’s 2019 and 2020 salaries fully guaranteed. Schwartz was scheduled to make $6.6 million in both 2019 and 2020, with a cap hit of $8 million in each season.

It’s unclear if the contract structure in 2019 and 2020 was affected.

The highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history, Trent Brown, averages $16.5 million annually and will play right tackle for Oakland this season after playing on the left side for New England last year. The highest-paid full-time right tackle, Denver’s Ja’Wuan James, averages $12.75 million annually.

Schwartz, who turned 30 last week, was named first-team All-Pro in 2018, the first such honor of his career. He has never missed an NFL snap in seven seasons, spending his first four with the Cleveland Browns and the last three with the Chiefs after arriving in free agency.

According to STATS LLC, Schwartz has allowed just 2.5 sacks and committed four penalties in three out of the last four seasons.

–Field Level Media

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Bears cut Blewitt, search for kicker continues

Bears cut Blewitt, search for kicker continues

Bears cut Blewitt, search for kicker continues

Chicago’s search for a kicker hit the upright again at minicamp.

The Bears waived former Pitt kicker Chris Blewitt on Wednesday, one of three kickers at mandatory minicamp. On Tuesday, with the whole team and about 25 former Bears gathered to watch, all three kickers missed a 42-yard attempt.

“Um, whatever went through your mind went through my mind,” head coach Matt Nagy said of the missed kicks. “Yeah, no, I mean, that’s about as real as it gets. They were 0-for-3 out there. For today, we can’t have that. We are going to figure this thing out but 0-for-3 today, no good.”

Still under contract are Eddy Pineiro, acquired from the Oakland Raiders, and former AAF kicker Elliott Fry, but the Bears aren’t satisfied with those options as training camp looms.

“We talk it through and we figure it out and we do everything we possibly can to make sure that in the end, when we get to the very end, we have the right guy there,” Nagy said.

The Bears cut Cody Parkey, who missed a 43-yard attempt that would have given Chicago a win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Instead, the Bears lost 16-15 after Parkey missed the kick with seconds remaining.

The Bears have actively searched for a new starting place-kicker since the club cut Parkey.

Parkey missed seven field goal attempts and three extra points in the regular season.

–Field Level Media

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Smith-Schuster regrets bitter end to AB’s run with Steelers

Smith-Schuster regrets bitter end to AB's run with Steelers

Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster wishes

Smith-Schuster regrets bitter end to AB’s run with Steelers

Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster wishes Antonio Brown’s end run in Pittsburgh had been amicable.

Smith-Schuster jumped to the No. 1 receiver role with the team when Brown was dealt to the Oakland Raiders.

Brown left Pittsburgh, torch in hand, criticizing management, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and other team leaders. He didn’t exactly share kind words about Smith-Schuster, either.

“The man’s a role model. In that situation, I didn’t want it to end like that,” Smith-Schuster said Wednesday. “I have no hard feelings against him. Obviously if we’re ever in the same room, I’m going to say what’s up to him. I think hatred is a huge word to use against somebody. At the end of the day he’s a great player, he comes out every day with work ethic. He worked hard. Other than that, I don’t have anything toward him like that.”

Brown put Smith-Schuster on blast with a direct attack via Twitter shortly after the Steelers announced Smith-Schuster as the team’s 2018 Most Valuable Player. The team award is voted on by players in the locker room.

Brown tweeted: “Emotion: boy fumbled the whole post season in the biggest game of year ! Everyone went blind to busy making guys famous not enough reality these days ! by the way check the list.”

Smith-Schuster replied to the April 7 Twitter storm.

“All I ever did was show that man love and respect from the moment I got to the league. I was genuinely happy for him too when he got traded to Oakland w/ a big contract, and now he takes shots at me on social media?

“Crazy how big that ego got to be to take shots at people who show you love! Smh.”

With the benefit of hindsight, Smith-Schuster said he should have passed on the emotional response and avoided the negative attention it brought.

“I never want to be the center of attention for causing problems,” Smith-Schuster said. “I just try to stay positive as much as possible. When stuff like that goes sideways, I say what I say and then I back out and leave it at that.”

–Field Level Media

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Raiders to draw spotlight on ‘Hard Knocks’

Raiders to draw spotlight on 'Hard Knocks'

Just watch, baby.

Raiders to draw spotlight on ‘Hard Knocks’

Just watch, baby.

That is what HBO is hoping football fans will do this summer when they feature the Oakland Raiders on the latest season of “Hard Knocks.” The network and the NFL announced Tuesday that the Raiders will be showcased in the 14th edition of the series.

The five-episode series will have no shortage of storylines as it focuses on the Raiders, who are led by fiery head coach Jon Gruden and acquired superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown during the offseason. Oakland is looking to bounce back from a 4-12 season in what is expected to be its final season in the Bay Area before the franchise moves to Las Vegas.

The series likely will spend ample time on the Raiders’ rookie class, which includes a trio of first-round picks: defensive tackle Clelin Ferrell out of Clemson, running back Josh Jacobs out of Alabama and safety Johnathan Abram out of Mississippi State.

HBO plans to air the series debut on Aug. 6 at 10 p.m. ET.

“Everybody wants to be a Raider,” team owner Mark Davis said in a statement. “Now they’ll find out what it takes to become one.”

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Saints’ Jordan reportedly lands $52.5M extension

NFL notebook: Saints' Jordan reportedly lands $52.5M extension

NFL notebook: Saints’ Jordan reportedly lands $52.5M extension

The New Orleans Saints and defensive end Cameron Jordan reached an agreement on a three-year contract extension, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday.

The extension will take the four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher through the 2023 season and be worth $52.5 million — with a max value of $55 million, including performance-based bonuses — and $42 million in guaranteed salary, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Jordan, who turns 30 next month, is now under contract for five years with a max of $74.5 million on the deal.

–HBO and the NFL announced that the Oakland Raiders will be featured on Season 14 of “Hard Knocks.” HBO plans to air the series debut on Aug. 6 at 10 p.m. ET.

The five-episode series will have no shortage of storylines as it focuses on the Raiders, who are led by fiery head coach Jon Gruden and newly acquired superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown. Oakland is looking to bounce back from a 4-12 season in what is expected to be its final season in the Bay Area before the franchise moves to Las Vegas.

The series likely will spend ample time on the Raiders’ rookie class, which includes a trio of first-round picks: defensive tackle Clelin Ferrell out of Clemson, running back Josh Jacobs out of Alabama and safety Johnathan Abram out of Mississippi State.

–A judge declared a mistrial on eight remaining counts against former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II, who was found guilty of felony rape one day earlier in Vista, Calif.

Winslow also was found guilty on misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure and lewd conduct. He was acquitted on another lewd-conduct charge on Monday, but the jury was deadlocked on the other eight charges, and Judge Blaine K. Bowman ordered the jurors to return Tuesday.

Shortly after 10 a.m. PT, Bowman received a note from the jurors saying they remained deadlocked on the remaining charges, which included six felonies. He then polled the jury in the courtroom. After hearing the results, he declared a mistrial on all eight counts.

–New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur set the stage for a summertime quarterback competition between Eli Manning and rookie Daniel Jones.

Shurmur previously said Manning would be the starter and Jones would figure out where he fits in the quarterback pecking order. That tune changed dramatically when Shurmur said he is “constantly” evaluating which quarterback gives the team the best chance to win.

“We’re gonna play the very best player,” Shurmur said. “I know we’re dancing around the words here, but right now Eli is getting ready to have a great year and Daniel is getting ready to play. We’ll just see what happens.”

–Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will sit out this week’s mandatory minicamp because of a calf strain that also kept him out of last month’s organized team activities.

Coach Frank Reich told reporters that the team was being cautious with the injury and that it was a “no-brainer” that Luck would be ready for training camp in late July.

Luck said he has been able to throw “significantly” while rehabbing the calf injury.

–The Jacksonville Jaguars informed Jalen Ramsey he won’t receive a contract extension this year, the All-Pro cornerback said at minicamp.

Ramsey, 24, who is entering his fourth season, said he wasn’t upset about the situation, even joking on Twitter that he planned to “ask for so much money, they have to put me on lay-away.”

–Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones will not report to minicamp in hopes of having his contract situation addressed by the team before the start of the 2019 season.

Jones’ deal was set on the back burner when the Chiefs acquired Frank Clark from the Seattle Seahawks and signed him to a massive contract.

–Allen Hurns was expected to miss at least part of the 2019 NFL season after sustaining a horrific lower-leg injury in January, but the Dallas Cowboys receiver told reporters that he expects to be fully ready when training camp opens next month.

Hurns, 27, ran pass routes for the first time since badly dislocating his left ankle and breaking his fibula during the NFC wild-card game against the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 5. He said he would participate in individual drills on Thursday, the final day of camp.

–The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph agreed to a multi-year contract extension Monday night — a day before the team’s mandatory minicamp was set to begin.

Rudolph, who had just one year left on his previous deal, confirmed on his Twitter account that he is staying with the Vikings long term. He landed a four-year, $36 million extension, according to multiple reports.

–Field Level Media

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Chargers sign first-round pick Tillery

Chargers sign first-round pick Tillery

Chargers sign first-round pick Tillery

The Los Angeles Chargers signed defensive tackle Jerry Tillery, the team’s 2019 first-round draft pick, to a four-year contract Tuesday.

According to ProFootballRumors.com, Tillery is set to receive $11.4 million, which is the slotted amount for the 28th overall pick, with a $6.3 million signing bonus.

The Chargers could lean heavily on Tillery (6-foot-6, 300), who shined during his collegiate career at Notre Dame. Tillery joins a talented defensive front that includes Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.

Los Angeles has two more draft picks to sign: second-rounder Nasir Adderley (defensive back, Delaware) and third-rounder Trey Pipkins (offensive guard, Sioux Falls.)

–Field Level Media

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Ex-NFL DE Smith arrested on suspicion of DUI

Ex-NFL DE Smith arrested on suspicion of DUI

Ex-NFL DE Smith arrested on suspicion of DUI

Former San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders pass rusher Aldon Smith was arrested Monday in Kansas on suspicion of driving under the influence.

The 29-year-old was initially stopped for a traffic violation. He was issued citations at the station in Mission, Kan., and picked up there by a friend, a police spokesman told the Kansas City Star.

Smith has not played in the NFL since November 2015, when he was suspended by the league for a year for violating its substance-abuse policy.

The 49ers drafted Smith No. 7 overall in 2011 and he was an immediate success, tallying 14 sacks as a rookie and earning first-team All-Pro honors with 19.5 sacks in 2012.

After four seasons and 44 sacks in 50 games with San Francisco, he played in seven games for the Raiders prior to his suspension in 2015.

Smith has a long history of run-ins with the law, including at least three previous DUI arrests.

Last November, Smith entered no-contest pleas to two misdemeanor domestic violence charges.

In exchange for his plea, he received a sentence of 90 days in jail and received credit for time served in a residential treatment center. He also was sentenced to three years of probation, one year of domestic violence counseling and 25 hours of community service.

–Field Level Media

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Mistrial declared in 8 remaining counts against Winslow II

Mistrial declared in 8 remaining counts against Winslow II

A California judge declared

Mistrial declared in 8 remaining counts against Winslow II

A California judge declared a mistrial Tuesday on eight remaining counts against former NFL tight end Kellen Winslow II, who was found guilty of felony rape one day earlier in Vista, Calif.

Winslow also was found guilty on misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure and lewd conduct, and he was acquitted on another lewd-conduct charge on Monday. All the incidents occurred in San Diego County.

But the jury was deadlocked on the other eight charges and Judge Blaine K. Bowman ordered the jurors to return Tuesday.

Shortly after 10 a.m. PT, Bowman received a note from the jurors saying they remained deadlocked on the remaining charges, which include six felonies.

A short time later, Bowman polled the jury in the courtroom. After hearing the results, he declared a mistrial on all eight counts.

Winslow still faces as long as nine years in prison, due to the rape conviction and the two misdemeanor convictions.

The rape Winslow was found guilty of involved a 58-year-old homeless woman in 2018.

The indecent exposure incident involved a 57-year-old woman who was gardening in her front yard. The lewd conduct incident involved a 77-year-old woman at a health club.

Winslow, 35, didn’t testify during the trial.

Winslow is the son of former San Diego Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow. The Hall of Famer was in the courtroom daily, including when the verdicts against his son were read on Monday.

Kellen Winslow II played nine NFL seasons and caught 469 passes for 5,236 yards and 25 touchdowns with the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New England Patriots and New York Jets. He was the sixth overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft out of the University of Miami (Fla.).

–Field Level Media

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Koepka: Golfers complain too much at U.S. Open

Koepka: Golfers complain too much at U.S. Open

Koepka: Golfers complain too much at U.S. Open

The U.S. Open is known as the toughest test in golf, with narrow fairways, penalizing rough, and pin placements almost impossible to reach.

Some of the top pros claim the way the USGA has set up its championship courses in recent years is more than tough; it’s been unfair.

Those complaints were a big topic of conversation Tuesday after practice rounds for this week’s U.S. Open, which begins Thursday at the famed and picturesque Pebble Beach in northern California.

But you won’t hear any moaning from the guy who is going for his third consecutive U.S. Open title.

“I mean, everybody has got to play the same golf course,” Brooks Koepka said.

“It doesn’t make a difference if you put it in the fairway and you hit every green, there’s really no problem, is there? So obviously they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do. So they’re not playing good enough. If they put it in the fairway, you shouldn’t have to complain about the rough. You hit the greens and you hit it close, you shouldn’t have to complain about the greens.

“I’ve just never been one to complain, make excuses. It doesn’t matter. Nobody wants to hear anybody’s excuse. I find it annoying even when I play with guys and they’re dropping clubs or throwing them or complaining, like telling me how bad the golf course is or how bad this is. I don’t want to hear it. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me.

“It’s just something we’ve all got to deal with. If you play good enough, you shouldn’t have a problem.”

Koepka won last year at Shinnecock Hills in New York with a 1-over-par total. Perhaps the moment most remember from the event is Phil Mickelson, afraid his putt at a treacherous hole location was going to roll off the green and into a bunker, chased down the ball and hit it back while it was moving. He was assessed a two-stroke penalty.

On Saturday at Shinnecock, the last 45 players to tee off failed to break par.

Tough or unfair?

“I think big picture you still had the right champions every single time. And that’s what you want to do in majors, you want to separate who is playing the best from who’s not,” said Jordan Spieth, who won the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, when dead fescue grass on the greens was a significant storyline.

“And I don’t see how that’s not had the right result in any of the previous years, even though certainly everything could have gone a hundred percent perfectly and it didn’t, necessarily.”

The USGA has narrowed the fairways slightly from the typical setup at Pebble Beach, and Englishman Justin Rose said, “The rough seems penal but not outrageous.”

“I think there’s going to be some very unlucky lies around the greens and the tops of the bunkers the way they’ve let the fescue, or whatever that grass is around the tops of the bunkers, grow,” he added.

“It’s quite a coarse grass as well. Any ball that lands just over the top of a bunker and lands in that longer grass, I think the ball is going to stick in there and you’re going to have some tough lies. And maybe you’ll see guys not move a ball possibly from the tops of those bunkers. That’s probably the most penal area of the golf course, I think.”

It’s all fine by Koepka.

“I just view it as this is what it is this week, and I’ve got to deal with it and go,” he said. “In my mind it doesn’t equate to a bad setup or good setup.”

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys WR Hurns making strides after brutal injury

Cowboys WR Hurns making strides after brutal injury

Cowboys WR Hurns making strides after brutal injury

Allen Hurns’ horrific lower-leg injury appeared to be the type that might cause him to miss at least part of the 2019 NFL season.

But the Dallas Cowboys receiver is recovering fast and he told reporters on Tuesday that he expects to be fully ready when training camp opens next month.

Hurns, 27, ran pass routes on Tuesday for the first time since badly dislocating his left ankle and breaking his fibula during the NFC wild-card game against the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 5. He said he will participate in individual drills on Thursday, the final day of camp.

Hurns was injured after catching a pass in the first quarter of the wild-card contest and was taken to the hospital with his leg in an air cast. He soon underwent surgery.

“I still get a little cringy thinking about it, but you know what’s surprising going through that? It wasn’t like the worst pain in my life,” Hurns told reporters in Frisco, Texas. “I was more freaked out about my ankle facing another way, but it was crazy for sure. Especially I had to stay off social media with everybody tagging me and things like that showing me the videos. I try not to watch it.”

Hurns was unable to put weight on the lower leg for two months. The first step was jogging, and now he describes himself as 90 percent recovered.

“It’s a progression thing,” Hurns said. “That’s the great thing about it. Each week you come in and you see that, ‘OK, I progressed to this,’ and you can look back and say I’m not where I was. That’s the great thing.”

Hurns caught just 20 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns last season in his first year with Dallas after playing his first four campaigns with the Jacksonville Jaguars. His best season was in 2015 when he established career highs of 64 receptions, 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The meager 2018 production adds another element, as Hurns is due to be paid $4 million in base salary in 2019 with a salary cap hit of $6.25 million.

He said he is aware the Cowboys might approach with an ultimatum: Take a pay cut or be released.

“I know that I’d return. I’m not sure where it’s going to be,” Hurns said. “My main thing is to get healthy, put together a great training camp and go from there.”

–Field Level Media

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Koepka’s U.S. Open odds cool a bit

Koepka's U.S. Open odds cool a bit

Koepka’s U.S. Open odds cool a bit

It’s hard to argue with the game plan of the man who has won four of the past nine majors, but U.S. sportsbooks have cooled a bit on Brooks Koepka’s odds of winning a third consecutive U.S. Open this week.

Koepka acknowledged that he did not touch a club after winning the PGA Championship last month until arriving at last week’s RBC Canadian Open. He then tied for 50th at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Ontario. He never sniffed at contention.

A distinct favorite for Pebble Beach after his two-stroke triumph at Bethpage Black, Koepka has been surpassed by Dustin Johnson as the listed favorite by several sportsbooks. Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy has also nudged ahead in some sportsbooks following his seven-shot victory in Canada.

While those three are co-favorites at +850 by FanDuel, SugarHouse favors Johnson (+700) over McIlroy (+800) and Koepka (+900). William Hill also has Johnson at +700, followed by Koepka (+850) and Jordan Spieth (+1000). Despite his record-setting victory at the Canadian Open, McIlroy is only tied for the third betting favorite by William Hill at +1000.

PointsBet lists Johnson and McIlroy as the co-favorites at +800 — slightly ahead of Koepka (+850).

Tiger Woods is no worse than +1100 by each of the four books.

Looking for a stab at the riches? SugarHouse is offering +250000 on a trio of players: Connor Arendell, Eric Dietrich and Hayden Shieh.

William Hill is offering some fun matchup prop bets, with McIlroy (-165) favored to finished higher than Woods (+145), and Johnson (-130) expected to out-duel Koepka (+110).

William Hill Prop Bets

Top 10 finish/not

Tiger Woods: +120/-140

Brooks Koepka: +100/-120

Rory McIlroy: +100/-120

Dustin Johnson: -110/-110

Jordan Spieth: -120/+100

Phil Mickelson: +200/-240

Rickie Fowler: +110/-130

Justin Thomas: +130/-150

Make/Miss Cut props:

Phil Mickelson: -250/+210

Sergio Garcia: -220/+190

Bubba Watson: -190/+170

Patrick Reed: -260/+220

Paul Casey: -260/+220

Hole In One

Yes: -130

No: +110

Decided By Playoff

Yes: +300

No: -360

Lowest Round Score (64.5): -110/-110

72-hole Winning Score (278.5): -110/-110

36-hole Cut Score (146.5): -110/-110

PointsBet is offering odds on the nationality of the winner:

USA: -400

England: +540

Northern Ireland: +550

Australia: +800

Spain: +1200

Japan: +1600

Italy: +1800

South Africa: +1800

Sweden: +2000

Ireland: +2500

South Korea: +3000

Germany: +3500

Denmark: +4000

China: +5000

Chinese Tapei: +5000

Slovakia: +5000

Belgium: +5000

–Field Level Media

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Report: Saints, DE Jordan agree to $52.5M extension

Report: Saints, DE Jordan agree to $52.5M extension

Report: Saints, DE Jordan agree to $52.5M extension

The New Orleans Saints and defensive end Cameron Jordan reached an agreement on a three-year contract extension, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday.

The extension will take the four-time Pro Bowl pass rusher through the 2023 season and be worth $52.5 million — with a max value of $55 million, including performance-based bonuses — and $42 million in guaranteed salary, according to Schefter.

Jordan, who turns 30 next month, is now under contract for five years with a max of $74.5 million on the deal.

The next pressing contract matter for the Saints to address is wide receiver Michael Thomas. The two sides have held loose discussions about the direction of a deal, but no tangible progress has been reported.

He has spent his eight-year NFL career with the Saints after being selected in the first round (No. 24 overall) in the 2011 draft out of Cal. He has 71.5 career sacks and 98 tackles for loss in 128 games (127 starts).

He earned his fourth Pro Bowl nod last season, when he had 12 sacks and helped New Orleans reach the NFC Championship Game. Jordan was first-team All-Pro in 2017, when he had a career-best 13 sacks, broke up 11 passes and forced two fumbles.

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Colts hold QB Luck (calf) out of minicamp

Colts hold QB Luck (calf) out of minicamp

Colts hold QB Luck (calf) out of minicamp

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will sit out this week’s mandatory minicamp because of a calf strain that also kept him out of last month’s organized team activities.

Coach Frank Reich told reporters Tuesday that the team was being cautious with the injury and that it was a “no brainer” that Luck would be ready for training camp in late July.

Luck said he has been able to throw “significantly” while rehabbing the calf injury.

Luck, 29, was named the 2018 NFL Comeback Player of the Year after completing a career-best 67.3 percent of his passes for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns and leading the Colts to a playoff berth.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft sat out the entire 2017 season following surgery on his right shoulder.

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Falcons inducting WR White into Ring of Honor

Falcons inducting WR White into Ring of Honor

The

Falcons inducting WR White into Ring of Honor

The Atlanta Falcons will induct Roddy White into their Ring of Honor this season.

The team’s all-time leading receiver made the announcement Tuesday on Twitter. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said the ceremony will happen during the Dec. 8 game against the Carolina Panthers.

“I’m extremely happy about it for me and my family,” tweeted White, who becomes the 11th player to be inducted and the first since running back Warrick Dunn in 2017.

White, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, spent his entire 11-year career with Atlanta (2005-15) and caught 808 passes for 10,863 yards and 63 touchdowns in 171 games.

Julio Jones enters 2019 ranked second on the franchise list in receptions (698) and yards (10,731), while Terance Mathis ranks second in touchdown grabs (57).

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Jaguars’ Ramsey: No extension coming in 2019

Jaguars' Ramsey: No extension coming in 2019

Jaguars’ Ramsey: No extension coming in 2019

The Jacksonville Jaguars informed Jalen Ramsey he won’t receive a contract extension this year, the All-Pro cornerback said Tuesday at minicamp.

Ramsey said he wasn’t upset about the situation, even joking on Twitter that he planned to “ask for so much money, they have to put me on lay-away.”

“As long as I’m a part of this organization, as long as I’m a part of Duval County, I’m going to give the city and the players all I’ve got, and I think y’all know that,” Ramsey said. “I’ve fought through injuries. I’ve fought through everything, haven’t missed a game. …

“I feel like I have outplayed my rookie contract and I feel I’ve earned a new contract. But at the end of the day, it’s not the end of the world. I’m tremendously blessed. I’m so blessed. I’m not down on it or anything like that at all, but that is the circumstance. That is what I’ve been told.”

Ramsey, 24, is entering his fourth season. In April, the Jaguars exercised the fifth-year option on his rookie contract that will pay him $13.7 million in 2020. He will earn a base salary of $3.6 million in 2019.

Ramsey has started all 48 games since the Jags made him the No. 5 overall pick in 2016, totaling 193 tackles, nine interceptions and 44 passes defensed. He was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2017 and has made two straight Pro Bowls (2017-18).

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Vikings’ Rudolph celebrates $36M extension

Vikings' Rudolph celebrates $36M extension

The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph agreed

Vikings’ Rudolph celebrates $36M extension

The Minnesota Vikings and tight end Kyle Rudolph agreed to a multi-year contract extension Monday night — a day before the team’s mandatory minicamp was set to begin.

Rudolph, who had just one year left on his previous deal, confirmed on his Twitter account that he is staying with the Vikings long term. He landed a four-year, $36 million extension, according to multiple reports.

The tweet, which ended with the hashtag “UnfinishedBusiness” read in part, “I am honored beyond words to say that my home, our home, will always be … in Minnesota!”

The new contract is expected to lower Rudolph’s salary-cap hit to help the team, which has little available cap room, according to ESPN.

The move comes weeks after the Vikings selected Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round of the draft, with the 50th overall pick.

Rudolph, 29, subsequently said he was looking forward to playing in more sets with two tight ends.

“It’s exciting,” Rudolph told ESPN. “It’s something, an element, that we’ve never had here in my nine years being here. It forces defenses to play with three linebackers, and that allows us to control the game, when we go out there in three-wide sets. People always talk about creating mismatches — well, now they have five DBs on the field, and yeah, there’s still mismatches, there’s size mismatches, but now we can kind of control and do things how we want to do them.”

A second-round pick (43rd overall) out of Notre Dame in 2011, Rudolph has played all eight of his NFL seasons in Minnesota. Last year, he finished with 64 receptions for 634 yards and four touchdowns. For his career, Rudolph has 386 catches for 3,787 yards and 41 scores.

He was selected to the Pro Bowl after the 2012 and 2017 seasons.

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Chiefs DT Jones skipping camp for contract reasons

Chiefs DT Jones skipping camp for contract reasons

Chiefs DT Jones skipping camp for contract reasons

Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones will not report to minicamp in hopes of having his contract situation addressed by the team before the start of the 2019 season.

Jones’ deal was set on the back burner when the Chiefs acquired Frank Clark from the Seattle Seahawks and signed him to a massive contract.

Jones, 24, is due $1.2 million in base salary. That’s not anywhere near market value considering his 15.5-sack 2018 season.

Jones has generated 24 sacks through his first three NFL seasons.

Per NFL Network, a slowdown in negotiations prompted Jones to pass on mandatory minicamp.

Kansas City is moving to a 4-3 front under defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. His scheme is precedented on pass-rushing skill at all four defensive line spots.

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